Volkswagen CEO expects software to be 90 percent of innovation in new cars


REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

❝ Volkswagen will ramp up its hiring of software experts to ensure that the car and truck maker stays at the forefront of innovation in an industry geared toward refining mechanical, rather than software components…

Demand for software functions has risen exponentially as customers increasingly expect advanced driver assistance systems, smartphone connectivity and self-driving functions.

❝ “Today our 20,000 developers are 90 percent hardware-oriented. That will change radically by 2030. Software will account for half of our development costs,” Herbert Diess said.

Compared to a smartphone, a car has ten times as many lines of software code, and a self-driving car will have a thousand times that amount, Diess explained.

The carmaker needs more software engineers to program the various sensors and actuators within a vehicle, so that a self-driving car can develop the right reflexes to navigate traffic situations and avoid accidents.

When you can offer several completely different-purposed vehicles from the same essential skateboard platform, making software and top-of-the-skateboard functions do the work…you can roll out new products a lot faster and more cheaply than existing tech. Once you get up to economies of scale. Simplified platforms made possible by electrification need a few hundred parts to roll out – instead of the thousands needed in internal combustion vehicles. Simple works.

2 thoughts on “Volkswagen CEO expects software to be 90 percent of innovation in new cars

  1. Meanwhile says:

    “Volkswagen boss apologises for Nazi gaffe” (BBC News 3/14/19) https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47566898 “The chief executive of Volkswagen has apologised for evoking a Nazi slogan to describe the importance of boosting the group’s profits.
    Herbert Diess used the line “Ebit macht frei” at a company event on Tuesday.
    The phrase echoes the maxim “Arbeit Macht Frei” – meaning “work sets you free” – which was famously emblazoned in wrought-iron on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
    Ebit is a commonly used acronym for “earnings before interest and taxes”.
    In a statement, Mr Diess said he was sorry for what he described as “definitely an unfortunate choice of words”.
    He explained that he was referring to the freedom afforded to VW brands in strong financial health, and added:
    “At no time was it my intention for this statement to be placed in a false context. At the time, I simply did not think of this possibility.”
    The German chief executive also acknowledged his company’s “special responsibility in connection with the Third Reich”. See https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34358783

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