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The autonomous vehicle "Cedric" will be on the stand of Volkswagen at the digitalization fair Cebit.
Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich (dpa)
VW acquires 49 percent of the shares in digitization service provider Diconium in Stuttgart, the group said in Wolfsburg. This is still subject to the antitrust approval. About the purchase price, silence was agreed, said Christoph Hartung, Head of Mobility Services of the Volkswagen brand.
According to VW, the aim is to offer car buyers fast access to digital services such as wireless updates or automatic payment in fully networked vehicles. Together, the companies also want to set up a sales platform through which VW customers can buy and manage online services and functions for connected cars. For this, VW needed the expertise of the new partner, emphasized Hartung. Diconium has around 800 employees in Germany, Portugal, the US and India.
According to Hartungs words VW is aiming to offer with the market launch of the electrical ID model family from 2020, so-called "over-the-air" updates, so wireless updates via a radio interface. He describes the planned electronic distribution platform as a shopping center with various shops and a common payment system – there, for example, solutions are to be offered for charging e-cars. For this purpose, VW is developing a charging card, with the help of which customers could release charging stations if necessary. In addition, the platform could be extended to mobility services such as car sharing, the shuttle services of the VW subsidiary Moia should be bookable over the long term.
Volkswagen recently announced investments of € 44 billion in digitization, autonomous driving and e-mobility over the next five years. Other carmakers also increasingly want to change their business model from selling vehicles to digital services.
Microsoft's cloud services will be used to develop the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, which bundles all of the carmaker's digital services and mobility offerings. In the future, VW wants to be able to extend digital services to the entire fleet. It is also about the secure exchange of data between the vehicle and the cloud. From 2020, more than 5 million VW-brand cars are expected to be fully networked each year.