Volkswagen to focus on software, aims 25% faster vehicle development process
Volkswagen said that it is realigning the automaker's technical development division in Germany in an attempt to roll out new vehicles faster. The department will focus increasingly on vehicles' high-tech parts and will grow in the coming years. The automaker also said that it will focus more on software in an attempt to make its future cars more high-tech and advanced technology-enabled.
Volkswagen is interested in allowing its vehicles to fit into an owner’s digital ecosystem seamlessly. This is something that Apple offers to its product buyers - smooth synchronisation across all the Apple products of a particular owner. Volkswagen says that its technical development division will aim at the transformation into a technology company through 11,500 of its employees.
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Speaking about the strategy, Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen's head of technical development, said that as the cars are increasingly becoming electrically driven software products, their development must also evolve in all dimensions. “We are making TD more connected and more efficient by focusing our processes and organization on systems and functions rather than on components. Software first, rather than hardware first," Ulbrich said.
This strategy would require the company a fresh investment of $873 million in a tech campus that will be formed over the next five years. This will increase the technology bar for vehicle development and will employ more than 4,000 employees. This division will act as a combined centre for design, conceptualization, UX, product strategy, model series, technical project management, and more. Volkswagen aims to have up to 8,000 skilled workers working in this centre by 2030.
In terms of product development, Volkswagen claims that this strategy will cut its vehicle development time by 25 per cent. It will also enable the German automaker to roll out vehicles in 40 months in future as compared to 54 months before. It would help the automaker to transform into a mobility technology company. Also, this strategy will play a role in the automaker's goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2050.