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Volkswagen is developing its own operating system for all its vehicles

Many manufacturers believe that, in the future, cars will be nothing other than driving smartphones. To reach this point, companies need to shift the current focal points when designing new models and must develop new competencies. Volkswagen is developing its own CAR operating system for all its vehicles in order to strengthen its position when it comes to digitisation. The Car.Software organisation in the Volkswagen Group is therefore switching from the start-up phase to fully working mode. From July onwards, it will make use of its own budget and staff to develop a digital platform for all Group brands and markets. As part of a presentation in Ingolstadt, Christian Senger, CEO of the Car.Software organisation described the ambitious goals to the dialled-in audience: “By 2025, we want to increase our own share of our cars’ software to 60 per cent.” Today the proportion is less than 10 per cent. Senger admits that there are certainly other ways of doing things in the automotive industry: some car manufacturers enter into close development partnerships with large IT groups, while others concentrate on pure vehicle construction and buy additional software. “It’s out of the question for us. We can and we want to develop our software platform ourselves,” emphasises Senger. Volkswagen has three reasons for this strategic decision: the internal organisation has specific experience and is familiar with the complexity of the vehicle. The Group wants to retain control of the entire vehicle architecture, including the electronics – keeping digital value creation within the company. And lastly, the potential of software develops with the growing number of vehicles, bringing advantages for costs as well as for learning from data. VW.OS will therefore provide a standardised operating system for the Group’s car brands in future – with the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud as the technical backbone.

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