Volkswagen AG’s namesake brand plans to launch its own car-sharing service next year and is developing an integrated software control program to help coordinate vehicle sensors and autonomous driving technologies.
VW also is readying a cloud-based Internet-of-Things “One Digital Platform.” By 2020, all new VW-badged models will be connected to the system, which will allow customers to access various mobility services over a common platform.
The company will introduce its “We Share” car-sharing scheme for electric vehicles in Berlin next spring, then expand into other European markets and select North American cities in 2020.
The program kicks off with a fleet of 1,500 e-Golfs and e-Ups electric cars in Germany. These vehicles will be replaced with the all-electric I.D. hatchback when the new model is added in 2020. The EVs will be supported by a network of independent charging stations that VW is developing with industry partners.
The carmaker also announced a new software operating system for its I.D. family of EVs early next decade. Dubbed "vw.OS," the architecture will allow a single control unit to handle dozens of electronic devices. Some vehicles currently use as many as 70 manufacturer-specific controllers for third-party software suppliers, according to the carmaker.
VW says its integrated approach will enable information to be shared more easily among systems, such as GPS, object-detection sensors and autonomous steering and braking functions. The architecture also is expected to help facilitate over-the-air software updates.
Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. says it will abandon development work on autonomous commercial trucks to focus on self-driving cars.
When you think of complex, highly technical devices that you use every day in your car—in fact, possibly as much as three to 10 times per minute—you probably don’t think of your rearview mirror.
General Motors Co.’s Maven mobility unit has launched a peer-to-peer car-sharing pilot program in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.