It will initially be rolled out in Berlin in 2019 before being offered in selected cities in North America in 2020.
Volkswagen has confirmed plans to launch an all-electric car sharing service in 2019 to compete with the DriveNow and Car2Go services offered by Daimler and BMW. Called “We Share,” the service will initially be rolled out in Berlin, Germany, in the second quarter of 2019 using 1,500 e-Golf and an additional 500 e-up! models following later. From 2020, these vehicles will gradually be replaced by the electric I.D. hatchback, which is slated to begin production in late 2019.
Following the launch in Berlin, We Share will be rolled out in other major cities in Germany, as well as core European markets and selected cities in North America from 2020. Volkswagen says the primary focus will be on cities with a population of over one million. We Share is the first offering of Volkswagen’s We Digital mobility scheme that could eventually expand to include electric scooters as well as ride-hailing, carpooling and parking services.
Volkswagen also announced the company is investing $4 billion to build digital businesses and products including a cloud-based platform to connect vehicles and enable services such as We Share. As part of the investment, VW is working on a new software operating system known as “vw.OS,” which will be rolled out in its electric cars from 2020. These vehicles will also have a new electronic architecture designed specifically for autonomous driving.
Instead of having 70 different sensors and controllers operating independently within each vehicle, the new cars will connect the various sensors using the new operating system. As a result, information gathered by a parking sensor could be linked to the steering, brakes, and high-definition maps, to allow a car to park itself. VW also said it's easier to do over-the-air software updates for cars if the operating system is designed in-house, rather than by a third-party.