Volkswagen says it is strengthening its in-house expertise in the integration of automotive software through its Accelerate program, and to this end has formed a joint venture with TraceTronic, a provider of solutions to test and integrate automotive software. Each partner holds 50% in the joint venture, named neocx, which will create a continuous integration/continuous testing (CI/CT) factory.
The JV will bring together high-performance tools for the automated testing and integration of automotive software and networked services. In this way, it aims to accelerate the development of digital functions such as over-the-air updates, which are provided to the owners of ID. vehicles every three months. Prior to this, the updates are to be integrated and tested with solutions from neocx.
Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen Board of Management with responsibility for technical development, commented, “With Accelerate, we have set ourselves the goal of evolving the car into a software-based product. The safe and efficient integration of software into our vehicles is therefore a critical competitive factor for Volkswagen. Our new joint venture, neocx, is a cornerstone in strengthening our expertise in this area so we can offer our customers a first-class digital driving experience.”
The neocx CI/CT factory will, says Volkswagen, provide scalable development and testing tools in response to the exponential increase in the size of software packages and data volumes in fully networked vehicles. It will make it possible to incorporate individual software components into integrated systems – such as driver assistance systems – at an early stage of development in order to test their compatibility and performance. The solutions from TraceTronic are the basis for this approach.
Additionally, the partners aim to expand the functional scope of the platform, deploying new technologies and test processes from fields including machine learning, data analytics and scenario-based testing. The consistent use of cloud technology will, they hope, also facilitate the creation and integration of a highly scalable virtual testing environment.
Cariad, the VW Group’s dedicated software company, is developing a standard software platform for of its brands. Volkswagen notes it is collaborating closely with Audi and Porsche in these activities and it is planned that the CI/CT factory will also be used by the sister brands in the future, thus harmonizing the testing and integration landscape across the Volkswagen Group. The standard interfaces will also facilitate the integration of development partners, suppliers and third-party tools.