VW Group creating unified electronics, software platform for vehicles
The group's current vehicles have dozens of control modules running eight different electronic architectures.
Following Tesla's lead, Volkswagen Group is apparently developing common hardware and software architectures for vehicle electronics systems.
The automaker currently uses around eight unique electronic architectures across its many brands, with each vehicle typically integrating dozens of individual modules to manage functions ranging from transmission control to door locks.
"In software, there is no reason for having eight different architectures," Christian Senger, head of the group's digital car and services unit, recently told Ars Technica.
Teardown engineer Sandy Munro last year praised Tesla for introducing a revolutionary electronics design in the Model 3, ditching the numerous discrete modules in favor of just a few computers that handle multiple tasks. The innovation is viewed as a key element in Tesla's claims of an industry-leading profit margin, simplifying the control circuitry and slashing the need for complicated wiring harnesses.
"Anybody that's in the car industry that ignores this car is doing it at their own peril," Munro declared after diving into the Model 3's electronics. "This is revolutionary, and everybody else is sitting there twiddling their thumbs."
The VW ID.3 already switches to a more modern electronics architecture, reducing the number of modules and connecting the components via Ethernet rather than traditional CAN-bus communications links. VW Group still has a long road ahead in developing a common architecture for all its brands and vehicles, a task that is expected to require up to 10,000 employees by 2025.