VW Cutting ECUs From 70 to “3 or 4”

VW Cutting ECUs From 70 to “3 or 4”

Volkswagen plans to improve its software’s robustness by reducing its cars’ 70 electronic control units “to three or four central on-board computers”.

CEO Herbert Diess announced that move at the group’s annual press conference along with other major plans to restructure its software operations. He said it would be achieved by “taking over suppliers that in the past have delivered software to us”.

Volkswagen is doing this because modern vehicles “have ten times as many lines of code” as smartphones. Diess added: “A self-driving car will have probably 1,000 times as many. With the new Golf ramp-up, that has shown us that networking the various ECUs is currently much too complex.”

Diess also predicted software would “account for 90% of future innovations in the car” on an industry-wide basis. He said: “Software will play a vital role in cars of the future. It represents an ever greater proportion of a vehicle’s value.” He added Volkswagen’s development of vw.OS, its own operating system for connected vehicles, meant its “future business model will be more like that of a mobile phone company”.

He claimed Volkswagen’s brands were “the first traditional automakers that are organizationally separating the structure for hardware and software development”. Diess announced the move alongside Volkswagen’s plans to ramp up EV production.

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