Volkswagen and Microsoft are expanding their cooperation to accelerate the development of autonomous driving through the use of cloud technology that characterizes the US software giant.
The German carmaker said in a statement on Thursday that, in cooperation with Microsoft, Volkswagen’s new software division will build a cloud-based platform to help simplify development processes and allow faster integration in its vehicle fleet.
Dirk Heilgenberg, president of Car Software, an affiliate of Volkswagen, said: “We continually aim to raise efficiency in software development, as part of the group’s plan towards digital mobility.”
Europe’s largest carmaker has invested nearly 27 billion euros ($ 33 billion) in digital operations by 2025 and plans to increase the share of internally developed software from 10 to 60%. Volkswagen struck its first deal with Microsoft in 2018, with the goal of creating a vehicle cloud that will connect future cars, while the company will carry out initial tests on fleets later this year. The program will be used in the production of Volkswagen cars from 2022.
Microsoft added another partner in the auto sector earlier this year by joining forces and investing in Cruise LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, and is also competing for deals with Amazon, which works with Volkswagen. On an industrial cloud, it will connect the factories of the automakers.