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.”
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.
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.
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.