Volkswagen and TraceTronic establish neocx – a joint venture for automated software integration
Volkswagen says it is strengthening its expertise in the integration of automotive software. At present, high-performance automotive functions can only be achieved by networking many individual software and hardware components. Integrating these components and testing the resulting assembly is a key developmental task for Volkswagen. As part of its ACCELERATE strategy, Volkswagen seeks to grow automotive software integration and the digital customer experience as core competencies. Therefore, the company has established a joint venture with TraceTronic, a world-leading provider of solutions to test and integrate automotive software. Each partner holds 50 percent in the joint venture, named neocx, which will create a continuous integration/continuous testing (CI/CT) factory.
This platform brings together high-performance tools for the automated testing and integration of automotive software and networked services. In this way, Volkswagen aims to accelerate the development of digital functions such as over-the-air updates, which are provided to the owners of ID. vehicles every three months. Prior to this, the updates are to be integrated and tested with solutions from neocx. This makes the new joint venture a key contributor to the development process.
Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen Board of Management with responsibility for Technical Development: “With ACCELERATE, we have set ourselves the goal of evolving the car into a software-based product. The safe and efficient integration of software into our vehicles is, therefore, a critical competitive factor for Volkswagen. Our new joint venture, neocx, is a cornerstone in strengthening our expertise in this area so we can offer our customers a first-class digital driving experience.”
Rocco Deutschmann, CEO of the TraceTronic Group: “We are pleased that Volkswagen has chosen to partner with TraceTronic in the large-scale implementation of a CI/CT factory for Volkswagen and its suppliers. Deploying our TraceTronic software tools and expertise, we can help our customers worldwide with the continuous integration and testing of automotive software using state-of-the-art methods.”
The neocx CI/CT factory is to provide scalable development and testing tools in response to the exponential increase in the size of software packages and data volumes in fully networked vehicles. It will make it possible to incorporate individual software components into integrated systems – such as driver assistance systems – at an early stage of development to test their compatibility and performance. The high-performance solutions from TraceTronic are the basis for this approach. In addition, the partners aim to expand the functional scope of the platform consistently. They are deploying new technologies and test processes from fields including machine learning, data analytics and scenario-based testing. The consistent use of cloud technology also facilitates creating and integrating a highly scalable virtual testing environment.
Volkswagen can already leverage internal Group synergies in developing software for its fully networked vehicles. CARIAD, the Group’s software company, is developing a standard software platform for all Group brands. neocx is a further building block in transforming the Volkswagen brand into a software-based mobility provider and has the goal of integrating the digital functions developed by CARIAD into Volkswagen’s vehicles, testing them in highly automated processes and accelerating the roll-out to customers.
Volkswagen is collaborating closely with Audi and Porsche in these activities. It is planned that the CI/CT factory will also be used by the sister brands in the future, thus harmonizing the testing and integration landscape across the Volkswagen Group. The standard interfaces will also facilitate the integration of development partners, suppliers and third-party tools.
Work on the CI/CT factory will start immediately. neocx will deploy agile methods and grow its workforce to a three-digit figure in the years ahead. Therefore, the young company is seeking to recruit additional experts for its main location in Dresden and its secondary location in Wolfsburg.