VW and Microsoft extend connected partnership

05 March 2019

5 March 2019

Volkswagen Group (VW) has announced a deal with Microsoft to develop a cloud-based computing system that will enhance its connected vehicle services.

The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud is to be extended step-by-step to further regions of the world and will be available in Europe, China and the USA – the core markets for the future full-electric, fully connected I.D. model family. Volkswagen and Microsoft are also working together on the first projects for connected vehicle services, and progress has been made in the set-up of Volkswagen’s new Development Centre in North America. They are concentrating on communication and navigation solutions as well as personalised services.

By allowing vehicles to tap into Microsoft’s remote computer processors via the cloud, VW can offer its customers personalised onboard media streaming, and make suggestions for parking and charging.

′Our strategic partnership with Microsoft is a key element in our efforts to develop Volkswagen into a software-driven mobility provider. With the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, we are working on a unique solution for our customers. Our upscaling capabilities give us a huge competitive advantage in this area,’ said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.

′Digital technology is rapidly changing every aspect of the auto industry – from the manufacturing process to the car itself,’ said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. ′Our partnership will enable Volkswagen to deliver new Azure-based connected vehicle services that accelerate the company’s transformation into a software-driven mobility provider and define the future of mobility for people everywhere.’

Volkswagen is preparing its digital ecosystem for the core markets of the future I.D. model family. The I.D. will be the first vehicle to use the Automotive Cloud and is to be launched in Europe in 2020. Production is to start in China the same year and a member of the I.D. family will roll off the production line in the USA from 2022 onwards.

The announcement was made as the two company CEOs visited the Volkswagen Digital Lab in Berlin, an important hub for the carmaker. Apart from the Digital Lab, other competence centres have their headquarters there. These include Carmeq, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, which is moving ahead with the development of software for the new vehicle operating system ′vw.os’. About 650 specialists at three locations are concentrating on ′vw.os’ as well as the development of software for driver assistance, driving convenience and infotainment functions.