Microsoft to Power VW’s Driverless Ambitions

Volkswagen has chosen digital giant Microsoft to power its race towards automated driving technology.

The automaker’s software company, Car.Software Organisation, will collaborate with Microsoft to build a cloud- based automated driving platform (ADP) on Microsoft Azure hoping to use its compute and data capabilities to deliver automated driving quickly at global scale. It expects the arrangement will increase the efficiency of the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and AD functions for passenger cars across Volkswagen brands. Volkswagen and Microsoft have been strategic partners on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud since 2018, which will span all of Volkswagen’s future digital services and mobility offerings.

Both understand that petabytes of data from road and weather conditions to obstacle detection and driver behavior need to be managed every day for the training, simulation and validation of AD functions. They say machine learning algorithms that learn from billions of real and simulated miles driven are key to connected driving experiences.

Car.Software Organisation hopes to address these challenges by simplifying the developer experience and using the “learnings from miles driven” through one database comprising real traffic data from the automaker’s vehicles as well as simulation data. ADP should help reduce the development cycles from months to weeks and efficiently manage the huge amount of data. The companies will start working on ADP immediately and are looking to continuously expand the functional scope of the development platform.

Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of the Car.Software Organisation, said: “As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to continuously increase the efficiency of our software development. We are building the Automated Driving Platform with Microsoft to simplify our developers’ work through one scalable and data- based engineering environment. By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft’s cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *