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As Electric Car Makers Ante Up Billions, Software Is Ace in the Hole


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A row of electric cars charging up.

For instance, VW created an independent business unit that will eventually be the central group developing the software across VW Group vehicles. The unit has about 5,000 digital specialists working in it today, double that by 2025.

Credit: Getty Images

Welcome to the planet's grandest high-stakes poker game, one where the players at the table are auto manufacturers frantically raising the ante in their financial commitments, betting tens of billions and their very survival on their electric vehicle development decisions.

In early 2019, Reuters estimated that the top 29 global auto manufacturers had already pledged to invest more than $300 billion towards developing electric vehicles (EVs) and supporting technologies including autonomous driving capability. Since then Daimler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Stellantis and Volkswagen Group, have committed an additional $152 billion in investments, a sum four times their combined 2019 operating profits.

An additional $60 billion plus in investments have also been made in more than 70 EV start-ups wanting in on the game. Of course, all this money does not include the other untold billions being directed to the 400 plus start-ups in China, or the billions being invested by global auto suppliers like Bosch, Denso or ZF Friedrichshafen.

 

From IEEE Spectrum
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