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CARIAD Launches First Development Fleet, Group-wide Software Platform.

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

CARIAD is accelerating the development process for its software platform, on which up to 40 million Volkswagen Group vehicles will be running by 2030. As a result, the software company is now equipping a development fleet with new hardware already as powerful as the future electronics architecture.

First development vehicles with the new equipment are already on the road in Germany and in Silicon Valley in the USA. Now, the development fleet will be expanded: several hundred production vehicles from the Group's brands will be retrofitted with a high-performance computer connected to the cloud, as well as with additional sensors. This allows developers to start gathering vehicle data from traffic in real-time immediately – several years before the market launch of CARIAD’s new Group-wide software platform with this functionality.

“With the launch of our development fleet, we are already laying the foundation for an extensive pool of real-time data for the development of our new software platform," says Lynn Longo, Chief Technology Officer at CARIAD. "For the first time, we have the opportunity to continuously record critical situations in road traffic, upload them to the cloud and train our algorithms with them. This iterative process is central to tailoring functions and services precisely to the mobility needs of our users."

With their new high-resolution cameras, the fleet vehicles constantly record situations in traffic. Systems with artificial intelligence run on the new high-performance computers to evaluate this data. They automatically recognize and filter problems in the vehicle that are particularly valuable for the developers. These rarely occurring corner cases are crucial for developing highly automated driving functions.

Once detected in the vehicle, the valuable camera recordings are uploaded to the cloud and are available to the development teams almost in real-time. The teams can train their software with this new data and deploy a new release to a separate, secure development partition of the vehicle computer via an over-the-air update as part of the so-called Big Loop. There, the improved systems can be tested under actual conditions without compromising the vehicle's safety.

With the development fleet, functions of the new software platform can be tested at an early stage and successively prepared for series production. This process underlines CARIAD's software-driven and agile product development approach.

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