The automotive segment of connectivity is among the fastest rising today, with projected incomes of billions over the next decade. So, each automaker is now rushing to get its piece of the “pie”, competing with telecom and technology companies.
Volkswagen AG, the second largest automaker in the world could not set idle and let others take advantage of the new business opportunity – so the news that the Group has decided to acquire BlackBerry’s European research and development centre in Bochum (Germany) comes as a little surprise.
BlackBerry – although suffers from a dwindling telecom business, has been implicated for some time now in the filed of automotive connectivity – in the US it even won a contract to supply all Ford models with the necessary software for their infotainment systems.
The German automaker has established a new division – Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH, with the set goal of expanding its expertise and capabilities in the thriving sector.
“Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future. 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,” said Heinz-Jakob Neußer, the head of the Development Division.
In a related news, Volkswagen (while its subsidiary Audi was a founding member already) has also opted in entering Google’s Open Automotive Alliance, which has the main goal of introducing to the world the Android Auto system – which seamlessly links a smartphone or a tablet to the car’s existing infotainment system.