Volkswagen has announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft to “advance its self-driving vehicle technologies.” Volkswagen’s Car.Software arm will collaborate with Microsoft to create a cloud-based automated driving platform. Volkswagen said that this will allow for faster integration into its future fleet.
Dirk Hilgenberg, head of the Car.Software division, said: “As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to continuously increase the efficiency of our software development.” He also added: “By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft’s cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services.”
VW and Microsoft started their cooperation in 2018 to build this automotive cloud, and they plan to test fleet operations later this year. VW is planning to use the new software in its VW ID.4 (picture above) and upcoming ID.6 battery EV in 2022.
Some have noted that Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess was worried about Tesla’s lead in its software and autonomous driving programs and that this was why the company was seeking assistance from Microsoft to create an over-the-air software update network that is similar to Tesla’s. At this point in time, that’s clear and obvious, and Diess hasn’t been hiding this thoughts on Tesla’s leadership and Volkswagen’s need to catch up.
This partnership aims to ease those fears and help Volkswagen to stay in the game, and Microsoft is pretty confident that it can deliver. Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Cloud +AI, shared his thoughts on the collaboration. “This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider,” he said. “The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data, and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster.”
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