Volkswagen is investing in developing the future of vehicle connectivity and infotainment by taking over a research and development facility in Germany.
Waterloo, Canada-based BlackBerry is continuing to sell assets and Volkswagen is the latest to cash in on the opportunity. The German automaker announced today that it purchased BlackBerry’s European research and development centre in Bochum, Germany where newly-formed Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH.
Volkswagen is currently seeking to overtake Toyota as the world’s largest automobile manufacturer and part of that plan will involve augmenting its ability to create connected car technologies without relying on third party developers.
“Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety. Around the globe, our customers’ aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions,” Volkswagen development boss Heinz-Jakob Neußer said.” In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how.”
The future of infotainment systems is a subject of debate among industry leaders. Volkswagen is betting on in-house technology, but that isn’t a view shared by other industry titans.
“We’re not going to write an OS… that would be silly,” GM chief infotainment officer Phil Abram said during the Telematics Update conference in Detroit last month.
Many major automakers rely on software development companies to provide the systems that underpin their vehicle infotainment systems. Ford’s Sync software comes from Microsoft while BlackBerry-owned QNX develops the software that powers touch screens in vehicles from Toyota, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and General Motors.
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