Aeris gears up for connected vehicle joint venture with VW

Connected technology provider forges joint venture with leading automotive manufacturer to improve service flexibility and speed, operational efficiency and customer experience

Internet of things (IoT) technology provider Aeris and Volkswagen Group of America have announced the creation of a new company, Ventic, to reflect the companies’ commitment to the development and operations of connected vehicle platform technologies.

The joint venture, split 51/49 between Volkswagen and Aeris respectively, will offer solutions specific to Volkswagen’s requirements, giving the automaker the ability to manage a connected car programme on a single platform, while preserving the ability to deploy solutions that differ based on region or vehicle model. The project will focus on VW brand vehicles in North America, starting with the launch of the next-generation Car-Net in most 2020 model year vehicles.

The partners believe Ventic will offer three main benefits – service flexibility and speed, operational efficiency and improved customer experience. Technology will be based on a microservices architecture that offers the introduction of new services which parallel the development of a smartphone app.

The architecture also provides the ability to change rules, such as access, in a dynamic way, supporting Volkswagen’s position in a shared mobility world. It will also support mobility across cloud platforms, as required by business needs and geographical restrictions, with built-in system monitoring and operational key performance indicators.

Furthermore, Ventic says the device platform “significantly” improves response times, with a service delivery architecture that optimises an end-to-end system from wireless connection to telematics applications, while simultaneously addressing key concerns around hardware power management.

“The connected vehicle is at the centre of the game-changing trends in the industry – autonomous, electric, shared,” said Raj Kanaya, general manager of automotive and chief marketing officer at Aeris, and a Ventic board member. “Through Ventic, we’re excited to be on this journey with Volkswagen.”

fellow Ventic board member and Volkswagen brand global CIO Abdallah Shanti, added: “Volkswagen is committed to connected vehicle technology, as we see a future where all cars are 100% connected at all times. Our connectivity platform expands beyond remote services and vehicle safety and security. This platform has inherent flexibility which enables new business models through third-party integration and is foundational for V2X [vehicle-to-everything] communications. Furthermore, this platform will serve our customers with delightful and useful functions, as well as being a gateway to other digital ecosystems.”

At the same time that it was revealing plans for the joint venture, Aeris announced the launch of the Aeris Mobility Suite, designed to enable automotive manufacturers to cut the time it takes to deploy connected vehicle programmes. The suite is claimed to be the only end-to-end, cloud-agnostic IoT product suite purpose built to help car makers win in a connected world, specifically addressing current technical issues. These include limitations in first-generation IoT software infrastructure that makes it both cumbersome to work with and incapable of supporting revenue-generating use cases that consumers demand, such as over-the-air feature upgrades, vehicle sharing, and on-demand services such as repairs and refuelling.

Aeris said Mobility Suite can provide all of the software components car companies need to immediately deliver on their vision to expand from “making and selling cars” to offering a constantly evolving array of subscription-based transportation experiences. In particular, the suite is said to make it possible to deploy and monetise a connected vehicle programme with multiregional variation, a “best-in-class” user experience, and rapid feature innovation in less than a year, at a fraction of the current cost.

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