Software is already considered a major complexity driver. When will Volkswagen reach its limits?
Linking electrics and electronics is extremely complex and costly. And the required input continues to rise because the expectations on the digital performance of our cars are also increasing. That’s why we need to manage complexity better and become more efficient. It also means developing much more software ourselves and thus reducing costs.
That sounds like a contradiction. You want to develop more software yourself, but reduce the effort …
It’s not a contradiction. It’s the solution. The main burden today is the connection between hardware and software. Just one example: currently, up to 70 control units operating with software from 200 different suppliers must be networked in a T-Cross, Arteon or Touareg. We devote a large part of our energy to technical integration and rely very much on the developments of third parties. For the future, this is not efficient. We need to be the ones who develop the software, set the standards and make them available to all brands and suppliers.
What is the share of self-developed software today?
Today, our share is less than 10 percent. That is clearly too small. In Volkswagen Group, we want to achieve a share in software development of more than 60 percent by 2025.
How do you plan to achieve this?
Volkswagen has already taken an important step. We have separated organisationally the development of hardware and software in the company, and incidentally we’re the first manufacturer to do this. This is important because software follows much faster development cycles. We’re continuing on this path. We want to form an agile “Car.Software” unit and bring together more than 5,000 experts and top talent by 2025. The experts will focus completely on vehicle digitization and development of vehicle-related services.