Volkswagen and its virtual environment, on cars the same functions as consumer electronics

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Several machines, not only owned, but also rented, a single digital environment. That of Volkswagen that each customer can “sew” to measure and transfer to any vehicle: first of the brand, then of the group. In reality, most of the settings can be saved and accompany those who are at the flywheel. The German manufacturer left behind the difficult debuts of the Volkswagen 8 and the ID.3 for which he once again admitted that there were difficulties. On the contrary: in an online event animated by two top managers, the sales manager Klaus Zellmer and the head of development Thomas Ulbrich, the first topic touched was just that.

Volkswagen thinks about a sort of digital variant of its modular platform capable of storing all the desired information connected to the same customer. The goal is not only to increase brand loyalty, but also to offer something more to those who are not yet customers. A similar application seems tailor-made for car sharing, which Volkswagen has begun to offer not only in Berlin, but also in Hamburg with the WeShare service, the range of which will be expanded with the various models of the electric ID range.

Transferability of settings also includes a number of services that motorists will be able to purchase over time and which would otherwise be lost.

“The cars of the future – summed up Ulbrich – will have to offer the same functions as those of consumer electronics”. In case there was still a need, the peremptory statement explains why giants of the caliber of Apple or Huawei, just to name a few, are so interested in the automotive world and in the same way why the auto giants are investing so much in digitization. . At least for the moment, the economic target cited by Zellmer seems rather limited with a three-figure millionaire annual turnover (between 100 and 999). A turnover that appears less ambitious than that announced by BMW, whose “digital customization” should be worth a turnover of 5 billion a year by 2030.

The car of tomorrow – electric and increasingly self-driving – will likely have to go through the workshops fewer times. Because system updates can be done “over the air”, exactly as has been the case for some time now for computers and tablets (however, not always with satisfactory results since updates often slow down the capabilities of the terminals). Ulbrich clarified that updates can only take place when the vehicle is stationary. According to Ulbrich, customers, including digital natives, will choose new cars more on the basis of what the software will be able to offer than on other parameters, such as speed.

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