Group Management Report

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Sustainable mobility, connectivity and automated driving

The mobility of people and goods is a prerequisite for economic growth and social development. But natural resources are dwindling and climate change is advancing. This calls for comprehensive mobility concepts to minimize the environmental impact. Such solutions need to be efficient, sustainable, crisis-proof, customer-oriented and accessible anytime and anywhere.

We are researching and developing such concepts in our Group-wide alliance: when shaping the future of mobility, we are looking not only at the automobile and related services, but at all modes of transport, transport infrastructures and people’s mobility habits. Digital connectivity and automated driving allow for completely new approaches to solving problems. They can help us play our part in a comprehensive mobility system for the future and drive forward our industry’s transformation.

New software solutions are the basis for this. This is why the Volkswagen Group has declared software development to be one of its targeted core competencies by introducing the software key initiative to its new strategy NEW AUTO. This initiative is the responsibility of our software subsidiary CARIAD. Founded in 2020 as the Car.Software Organisation and renamed CARIAD in 2021, the company is to develop a sustainable, convenient, connected, safe automotive experience for the customers of our Group brands. CARIAD provides answers to the strategic aspects of digitalization and pools the Group’s software expertise.

Developers from CARIAD work at plants in Germany and collaborate with development teams in North America and China. The establishment of separate CARIAD branches in North America and China was initiated in 2021. The company employs around 4,500 specialists who are developing the following solutions in the Group:

  • VW.OS, a uniform vehicle operating system for all Group vehicles
  • A uniform end-to-end electronics architecture
  • Connectivity with VW.AC, a shared Volkswagen Automotive Cloud
  • An infotainment platform with an app store for third-party providers
  • Driver assistance systems, autonomous parking functions and autonomous driving for private mobility
  • A data marketplace
  • New mobility services and digital business models

It is envisaged that CARIAD will pool these solutions on a specially developed, scalable software platform called E3 2.0 and make it available to the Group brands from the middle of this decade. The intention is to use it for the first time from 2025 in an Audi brand model as part of the Artemis project. From 2026 the software platform will move into the volume segment within the scope of Volkswagen’s Trinity project. Further Group models will follow to generate economies of scale and to lower the cost of growing software requirements in the vehicle for all brands.

CARIAD is already supplying updatable software to the Group brands today. Our goal is to make the software secure and traceable. It can be installed in the vehicles as over-the-air updates – an important prerequisite for fulfilling regulations R.155 and R.156 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The new software platform E3 2.0 is set to pave the way for the autonomous driving functions of the future, with CARIAD responsible for developing assisted and highly automated driving functions up to Level 4 for all of the Volkswagen Group’s passenger car brands. Volkswagen is developing robotic shuttles and vans as part of its strategic Mobility Solutions technology initiative, which is promoting autonomous driving in conjunction with service models, i.e. shared mobility (Mobility as a Service, Transportation as a Service).

The Group brands presented new concept vehicles in 2021 that showcase their vision of sustainable future mobility. These vehicles aim to enable new forms of mobility in both cities and rural areas, also addressing user groups that have so far been excluded from access to mobility: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented its autonomous shuttle for the first time in conjunction with Argo AI. The Volkswagen ID.Life will offer sustainable electric mobility for urban life, while the Audi Grandsphere defines the future of autonomous business travel.

End-to-end electronics architecture
A scalable platform developed by CARIAD for secure, rapid processing of data in the digitally connected vehicle. This platform improves communication between the vehicle and the cloud, thereby enhancing vehicle performance.