According to a recent report by Green Car Congress, Volkswagen will transform its Technical Development (TD) division to put a much greater emphasis on vehicle software. The plan has a goal of reducing development time significantly.
VW says the new initiative will be a complete revamp of the development process. It will be focused on the brand's purpose-built and proprietary electric vehicle platform and will work to better suit customer needs through a boost in software development and implementation. VW board member for Technical Development Thomas Ulbrich shared:
"If the car is increasingly becoming an electrically driven software product, then its development must also evolve in all dimensions. We are making TD more connected and more efficient by focusing our processes and organization on systems and functions rather than on components. Software first rather than hardware first."
Ulbrich went on to share that the plan will help the automaker reduce development time by 25 percent. More specifically, the goal will be to complete development in 40 months instead of the current time, which averages 54 months. You may remember, it wasn't long ago that Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess told VW executives and employees in a meeting that Tesla has a major advantage since it can develop and produce EVs much more quickly and efficiently than VW.
If cars weren't already becoming much more connected, and arguably more like computers on wheels, the electric revolution has taken this concept to a whole new level. Volkswagen isn't the first or only automaker to come to this seemingly obvious realization. GM and Ford are also making plans to follow similar strategies.
Volkswagen also continues to announce various investments to prepare not only its facilities, but also its employees for the shift in the automotive market that's already well underway. However, it's going to take a long time to get all of its workers trained.
The brand says that by 2030, 4,000 of its employees will be trained and ready with new skills to ensure that they can take on completely new job responsibilities. In addition, 6,000 to 8,000 VW workers will receive training to help them improve in their current areas of expertise.
The global automotive giant is investing €800 million over the next five years on its flagship Campus Sandkamp project. According to Green Car Congress, it will have some 4,000 employees and will be specifically focused on "design, conceptualization, user experience, product strategy, model series, technical project management and project team members from Purchasing, Finance, Production Planning, Quality Assurance and Sales."
All of this will contribute to VW's future EV platform, which is coined SSP (Scalable Systems Platform). It will debut in the automaker's Trinity project that it aims to launch in 2026. In addition, Volkswagen will be focusing on Digital Lifecycle Management systems, which include over-the-air software updates and user "functions on demand."
With all of that said, VW aims to increase its EV market share by over 70% in Europe. It also has a goal of achieving an EV market share of over 50% in the US and China. As it works toward a final goal of 100% electrification, Volkswagen will launch a new fully electric car every year going forward.