Volkswagen deepens partnership

Volkswagen AG has concluded a framework agreement with VIRTUAL VEHICLE, Europe’s largest research centre for virtual vehicle development. In terms of content, the focus of the collaboration is primarily on co-simulation, complete vehicle integration and simulation-based function and software development.

“The need for interdisciplinary simulation expertise will increase rapidly in the coming years,” says Ralph Sundermeier, Head of CAE Method Development at Volkswagen AG. He is convinced of the increasing prevalence of simulation applications in all engineering professions: “By 2025, virtual calculations and simulations will be used at every engineer’s workplace. So the question is not whether, but how to use methods such as computer-aided work processes in a targeted way.”

This is where the cooperation with VIRTUAL VEHICLE comes in. Since its foundation in 2002, the Austrian research centre has built up comprehensive and internationally respected expertise in the areas of co-simulation and complete vehicle integration. One example is the co-developed co-simulation platform Model.CONNECT: with it, modern calculation methods for distributed and cross-domain development could be transferred to industry at an early stage and in a trend-setting manner. The framework agreement that has now been concluded lays the foundation for a deeper and longer-term collaboration with Volkswagen, which will enable projects to be brought on track even more quickly and comprehensively.

The development towards Software-Defined Vehicles requires a fundamentally different approach for an industry that was previously characterised by the classic principles of mechanical engineering. In future, products will be continuously developed, improved and adapted according to the rules of the IT industry. A vehicle designed according to these principles will continue to develop throughout the entire product life cycle and will be kept up to date via updates. The development of a vehicle will then no longer take place in the long term, but in short, iterative steps. In the future, customers will therefore not only buy an (electric) car, but also a software package with it: “For programmers this is normal, for mechanical engineers it is a paradigm shift,” explains Sundermeier.

In future, Volkswagen will draw on the expertise of VIRTUAL VEHICLE in the development of virtual calculation and simulation tools. Specifically, the research centre will provide support in topics such as Volkswagen’s Functional Engineering Platform (FEP), Credible Simulation, model-based and function-oriented systems engineering, standardisation for virtual development and virtual integration in technical development. VIRTUAL VEHICLE CEO Jost Bernasch is pleased about the framework agreement with Volkswagen: “Close cooperation with industry and science is not only a tradition at VIRTUAL VEHICLE, it is the basis for the success of the research centre. We are pleased to be able to support Volkswagen even more in the future with simulation and its quality, data management, vehicle integration and other topics.”