Volkswagen and Ford have unveiled new strategies to boost ‘smart’ motoring and connected cars. Giant German car-maker VW said its new ‘TOGETHER – Strategy 2025’ marks ‘the biggest change process in the Volkswagen Group’s history’ and its ‘evolution from car manufacturer into a world-leading provider of sustainable mobility’.
It is accelerating hard into the areas of autonomous driving and artificial intelligence adding: ‘The aim is to license a competitive self-¬driving system (SDS) developed in¬-house by the end of the decade’.
Its radical response to its ‘diesel-gate’ scandal aims to ‘comprehensively transform’ the core automotive business a by ‘rapidly establishing a new mobility solutions business’ .
It will also boost efficiency, innovation and nurture an ‘entrepreneurial mind-set’ in the company.
Special emphasis will be placed on ‘e¬-mobility’ with more than 30 purely battery¬-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) to be launched over the next ten years.
Between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of its car sales will be electric by 2025, it predicts.
Chief executive Matthias Müller said that following ‘the serious set-back as a result of the diesel issue’ Volkswagen will ‘learn from mistakes made, rectify short-comings and establish a corporate culture that is open, value¬ driven and rooted in integrity.’
Investment across group brands will be in the ‘double¬ digit billion range’.
Ford meanwhile is experimenting with smart mobility technology to reward good drivers with reduced travel costs – using an approach to achieving goals employed by fitness and exercise apps.
Ford’s Driver Behaviour Project explores providing drivers with a personal score, based on various driver inputs, and accessed via a prototype driving app. Drivers who achieve a good score could secure cheaper car hire and car‐sharing, and provide insurers with information required to support discounts.
Data has been collected from volunteer drivers in more than 40 Ford Fiestas driving over four months and around 100,000 miles and 4,000 hours over a four month period.
Ford says it is expanding as ‘both an auto and a mobility company’ and is ‘aggressively pursuing’ its plan through Ford Smart Mobility ‘to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics’