Volkswagen (VW) expressed interest in partnering with other carmakers to share platforms and develop software, VW CEO Herbert Diess told the German news website Der Spiegel on Friday (Sept. 9).
“We are open to discussions and prepared to share our platform,” Diess said, adding that he doesn’t rule anything out, including collaborating with direct competitors like BMW or Daimler, per the report.
The VW boss said it is important for the local automobile sector to work together and not rely on doing business solely with Apple, Google and Tesla.
“If Europe loses data sovereignty in the car business, then we will make ourselves completely dependent on high-tech companies from the U.S. or China,” Diess said, per Der Spiegel.
He pointed to the high overhead and one-time costs associated with developing operating systems and software for new high-tech products, particularly those that require significant research and testing before they are manufactured, such as self-driving cars. Regardless, Diess noted the importance of building technology into as many cars as possible, according to the report.
At the IAA auto show, BMW Development Board Member Frank Weber called on the three major German carmakers to work together on software development.
Weber said that having every company work on its own operating system is not efficient and might not be successful. Suppliers like Bosch or Continental would ultimately have to program for components that would suit each manufacturer.
“We can imagine developing certain standards and software components together,” said Harald Kröger, managing director for mobility solutions at Bosch.
Diess said that there are numerous possibilities for collaboration, from the development of individual components to acquisition, per the report.