• NATALIA SOUSA

Volkswagen Group teams up with Microsoft to accelerate the development of automated driving

Volkswagen Group further strengthens its capabilities in the development of automated driving (AD) solutions. The Group's software company Car. Software Organisation will collaborate with Microsoft to build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform on Microsoft Azure and leverage its compute and data capabilities to deliver reliable and safe automated driving experiences even faster and on a global scale. With the Automated Driving Platform running on Azure, Car. Software Organisation will increase the efficiency of developing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and AD functions for passenger cars across Volkswagen Group brands. Volkswagen and Microsoft have been strategic partners on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud since 2018, which will span all of Volkswagen's future digital services and mobility offerings.



"As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to increase the efficiency of our software development continuously. We are building the Automated Driving Platform with Microsoft to simplify our developers' work through one scalable and data-based engineering environment. By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft's cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services," said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of the Car. Software Organisation.


"This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI at Microsoft. "The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to its customers faster."


Building AD and ADAS solutions faster with one development platform

ADAS and automated driving vehicles can help improve passenger safety while reducing congestion and making mobility even more comfortable. Building these solutions requires large-scale computational capabilities. Petabytes of data from road and weather conditions to obstacle detection and driver behavior need to be managed every day for the training, simulation and validation of AD functions. Machine learning algorithms that learn from billions of real and simulated miles driven are key to connected driving experiences.

Car.Software Organisation will address these challenges together with Microsoft by simplifying the developer experience and leveraging the "learnings from miles driven" through one database comprising real traffic data from the Group's vehicles and simulation data. Microsoft Azure compute, data and machine learning services, and Microsoft's know-how in agile software development will enable one development environment for Car.Software Organisation's developers globally. ADP will help reduce the development cycles from months to weeks and efficiently manage the huge amount of data. The companies will start working on ADP immediately and continuously expand the development platform's functional scope.


Both companies intend to enable technology partners to build tools and services that integrate with the platform to enhance the creation of AD and ADAS solutions.

Volkswagen Group increases in-house development of software in the Car

Volkswagen Group is driving forward the digitalisation of the Car rapidly. By 2025, the Group will invest around EUR 27 billion in digitalisation and increase the proportion of in-house software development in the Car to 60 per cent from 10 per cent today. Founded last year, the Car.Software Organisation plays a vital role in the transformation of the Volkswagen Group towards a software-driven mobility provider. It bundles and continuously expands the Group's software competencies, including developing high-performance driving functions for passenger cars that will be integrated into future models of Volkswagen Group's brands.


Deploying and operating ADAS and AD solutions with Volkswagen Automotive Cloud

Since 2018, Volkswagen and Microsoft have been collaborating on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, which is focused on integrating all the digital services and mobility offerings across the Group brands and models in the future. The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud engineering team, based in Seattle, has enabled data to be exchanged between the vehicles and the Cloud through Azure edge services. The cloud connectivity is also enabling Volkswagen to deliver vehicle updates and new features independently of the vehicle hardware to continuously improve the customer experience.


The first test fleets connected to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud are expected to hit the road in 2021. Production rollout is planned for 2022. Car.Software Organisation will integrate the Automated Driving Platform and Volkswagen Automotive Cloud as the company moves toward further integrating their software solutions, tools and methods to empower its engineering teams, customers, and partners globally. With the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, the AD and ADAS functions developed on top of the Automated Driving Platform can be tested, deployed and operated across the Group's vehicle fleet.