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VW Readies $4 Billion Digital Service Platform for All Models


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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 initiatives are part of the “Transform 2025+” program VW announced two years ago. Under the plan, VW is investing 3.5 billion ($4 billion) through 2025 to build a new “We Service” digital business and products.


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.

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