Volkswagen Investing $4 Billion to Create Smart Cars

Volkswagen AG (VW) will invest approximately $4 billion (€3.5 billion) by 2025 in developing new digital businesses and products in the IoT. The German-based multinational car company wants to prepare for a smart future with a cloud computing platform to connect vehicles and customers. In its press release announcing the revamp of its automobile line VW writes, “The automobile will evolve into a central hub in the Internet of Things.”

Related: Toyota to Add Apple CarPlay and Alexa to 2018 Cars

VW hopes this investment will allow it to create a “Volkswagen We” ecosystem and “transform from automaker to mobility service provider.” Volkswagen Group represents over ten brands including: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Scania. Its goal of using a single, cloud-based platform — the “One Digital Platform” — could pull millions of cars around the globe within a single system.

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VW Digital Ecosystem

To further its goals, VW will release a new software operating system, vw.OS, for its electric cars in 2020. The operating system will function like Tesla’s allowing for wireless software updates, and Volkswagen hopes that creating its own proprietary software will prevent it from having to use inefficient third party suppliers.

Volkswagen claims keeping the process in-house makes the entire process easier, almost in the way that Apple prefers to keep as much as possible under its roof. On top of the smart elements it is hoping to include in its cars going forward, Volkswagen also announced that it is instituting a “We Share” program. The car share program will provide 2,000 electric cars to Berlin in the second quarter of 2019 and could eventually expand throughout Europe and to the United States. It will be another competitor in the car sharing space now occupied by companies including Daimler and BMW.

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Volkswagen SUV Tiguan

Michael Jost, VW’s Chief Strategy Officer, stated, “We will be a device and software company…To deal with this development, we need to reinvent the automobile.” In keeping with this reinvention, Volkswagen will use the We Share brand to associate a number of mobile applications where VW customers can use a single login to access its electric and traditional automobiles. It appears that in the very near future the IoT will not only be in your pocket, or in your home, but in your actual vehicle.

Featured image courtesy of Volkswagen, AG. 

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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