Competitors, are you listening?
Volkswagen has made huge efforts to move on from the Dieselgate scandal that has been a continued thorn at its side. Fortunately, its new lineup of all-electric vehicles such as the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen ID.4 have either debuted or will do so soon, though the coronavirus pandemic will surely cause delays. But this won't stop the German automaker from looking years ahead beyond not only COVID-19, but also new vehicle technologies, including safety. Although electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains have been taking center stage lately, it's important not to ignore other critical vehicle technologies, such as safety. And this is where VW is also aiming to thrive.
Reuters reports VW is planning to launch a new software operating system later this year with the ultimate goal of eliminating vehicular accidents involving its cars by 2050. How will this be accomplished?
The next generation of its cars will come equipped with software, sensors, and processors capable of anticipating accidents and even avoid them entirely. More importantly, the system is capable of learning and adapting that knowledge. "We want to have no more accidents by 2050," said VW's strategy chief Michael Jost. "How quickly can data and algorithms improve? Our customers should benefit from deep learning every week, and every day. We are moving from being a device company to being a software company," he said.
This new software will already be installed in the overseas-only ID.3 and will be regularly updated as software algorithms improve, Jost added. Because the technology is so new, VW stresses customers should not let their driving guard down when behind the wheel.
"We are not yet at 100%," said Thomas Ulbrich, VW's board member in charge of electromobility. "It is normal that there are still technical tasks to be done shortly before market launch." The ID.3 is slated to go on sale in Europe this summer, though there was a recent report claiming this could be delayed by several months due to software issues.
Despite this, VW's goal is bold and only time will tell whether this can be accomplished.