Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group and Microsoft to accelerate automated driving development

Volkswagen Group's Car.Software Organisation and Microsoft will build an Automated Driving Platform for the agile development of automated driving functions

Volkswagen Group’s software company Car.Software Organisation are to collaborate with Microsoft to build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) on Microsoft Azure.

The partnership will help increase the efficiency of the development of advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving functions for passenger cars across Volkswagen brands.

“As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to continuously increase the efficiency of our software development. We are building the Automated Driving Platform with Microsoft to simplify our developers’ work through one scalable and data-based engineering environment.

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,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of the Car.Software Organisation.

ADAS and automated driving vehicles can help improve passenger safety while reducing congestion and making mobility even more comfortable. Building these solutions requires large-scale computational capabilities. Petabytes of data from road and weather conditions to obstacle detection and driver behaviour need to be managed every day for the training, simulation and validation of AD functions. Machine learning algorithms that learn from billions of real and simulated miles driven are key to connected driving experiences.

Car.Software Organisation will address these challenges together with Microsoft by simplifying the developer experience and leveraging the “learnings from miles driven” through one database comprising real traffic data from the Group’s vehicles as well as simulation data. Microsoft Azure compute, data and machine learning services as well as Microsoft’s know-how in agile software development will enable one development environment for Car.Software Organisation’s developers globally.

Microsoft Volkswagen ADP

ADP will help reduce the development cycles from months to weeks and efficiently manage the huge amount of data. The companies will start working on ADP immediately and are looking to continuously expand the functional scope of the development platform.

Both companies intend to enable technology partners to build tools and services that integrate with the platform to enhance the creation of AD and ADAS solutions.

“This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI at Microsoft.

“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.”

Since 2018, Volkswagen and Microsoft have been collaborating on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud (VW.AC), which is focused on integrating all the digital services and mobility offerings across the Group brands and models in the future. VW.AC’s engineering team, based in Seattle, has enabled data to be exchanged between the vehicles and the cloud through Azure edge services. The cloud connectivity is also enabling Volkswagen to deliver vehicle updates and new features independently of the vehicle hardware to continuously improve the customer experience.

The first VW.AC connected test fleets are expected to hit the road in 2021. Production rollout is planned for 2022. Car.Software Organisation will integrate ADP and VW.AC as the company moves toward further integrating its software solutions, tools and methods to empower its engineering teams, customers and partners globally. With VW.AC, the AD and ADAS functions developed on top of ADP can be tested, deployed and operated across the Group’s vehicle fleet.

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