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.

The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall — Inevitably


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The California Public Utilities Commission will wait until next year to make a decision on PG&E’s application to shutter Diablo Canyon in 2025…

If the five-person commission, which governs utilities in California, follows precedent, it will likely approve the application per the recommendation of administrative law judge Peter Allen…

County officials said they were optimistic after the commission delayed the decision on Thursday.

“Despite our radically diverse interests and viewpoints, a broad community and business coalition all came together and agreed that the proposal would help us protect local public health, safety and economic stability,” County Counsel Rita Neal said in a news release. “This continues to be our top priority. We will wait to move forward and when the commission reaches a decision, we will consider all of our options and next steps.”

PG&E applied in June 2016 to decommission the plant when licenses for its two nuclear reactors expire in 2024 and 2025.

Overdue.