Volkswagen expects software to make up 90 percent of auto industry innovation

by SpeedLux
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Volkswagen will increase its hiring of software experts to make sure that the automaker stays at the forefront of innovation in an industry preparing toward refining mechanical, instead of software components.

“Software will account for 90 percent of future innovations in the car,” Herbert Diess informed VW’s annual press conference.

Volkswagen is retooling its plan in the wake of the dieselgate scandal, which has cost it over $32 billion in fines and penalties. Demand for software functions has increased exponentially as consumers increasingly expect advanced driver assistance systems, smartphone connectivity and self-driving functions.

“Today our 20,000 developers are 90 percent hardware-oriented. That will change radically by 2030. Software will account for half of our development costs,” Diess stated.

Compared to a smartphone, a car has ten times as many lines of software code, and a self-driving car is going to have a thousand times that amount, Diess described.

The carmaker needs more software engineers to program the various sensors and actuators within an automobile, so that a self-driving car can develop the right reflexes to navigate traffic situations and prevent accidents.

Volkswagen will move from a decentralized system of computers, referred as control units, toward a more centralized and networked electronic architecture, Volkswagen stated.

“The new Golf ramp up has shown us that networking the various control units is currently much too complex. We will be combining the 70 control units from up to 200 different suppliers into three central on-board computers,” Diess stated.

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