“In the competition for the smartest brains, Volkswagen scores high with good arguments,” says Susanne Scholtyssek, head of HR in Technical Development at the Volkswagen brand. “We are internationally active, we have sites in many countries around the world, our cars are technologically at the forefront, and Volkswagen is internationally known as a good employer,” says Scholtyssek.
The average age in EE Development is the early 40s, and thus significantly lower than in many other areas. Many teams are international and interdisciplinary. Flexible working hours, mobile working, modern communications technology, short decision-making paths, flat hierarchies and more autonomy are welcomed by the best in the industry. With training and further training courses, external seminars and cooperation with scientific research institutions, the company ensures that its expertise remains up to the minute.
“Technologically, too, we can compete with the internet giants,” says head of EE Development Zöller. In the area of internet software, there is perhaps room for improvement, “but we are getting closer,” Zöller says. The expectation of an automobile manufacturer like Volkswagen, he explains, is that applications such as CarNet should work reliably, not only in cities with LTE networks but also in regions with bad or almost non-existent network coverage, as well as in long highway tunnels. For services such as voice control in the vehicle, Volkswagen does not rely on standard solutions but works with local partners such as Mobvoi in China. And when it comes to vehicle systems such as brakes, “we have considerably more experience than Google or Apple”, Zöller says.
During a tour of Hall 90b, Zöller demonstrates how this looks in practice. At a test bench on which various vehicle components are tested for their functions and interaction, he shows us a flat device which resembles a hard drive. “This small element controls the braking system of a car – in milliseconds and always reliably,” says Zöller. “This is where our expertise lies: a wealth of experience which sets us apart from others.”