Volkswagen’s ‘We Campus’ in Berlin to develop new mobility services

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 08 Jul 2019


Volkswagen today inaugurated the ‘We Campus’ in Berlin. The new 'We Campus' will bring together about 900 experts from Volkswagen and its technology partners who have previously worked at different locations. In future, they will develop new added value and mobility services which will be offered within the ‘Volkswagen We’ ecosystem. This also includes the full-electric car sharing service WeShare which has been launched in Berlin with 1,500 e-Golf vehicles.

Ramona Pop, deputy governing mayor of Berlin and senator for economy, energy and enterprises said, “Innovative mobility solutions are a major challenge and at the same time driver of new economic dynamism. More and more companies like Volkswagen invest in technologies and concepts for sustainable urban transport and create new jobs. Nowhere is this better than in Berlin. Here in Berlin, work is being done to reconcile mobility needs with climate and environmental protection.”

Christian Senger, Volkswagen Brand board member responsible for Digital Car and Services said, “With the Volkswagen ‘We’ ecosystem, we are offering people tailor-made possibilities of putting their own car to a variety of different uses and also being mobile in other ways. It is simple, digital and intended to meet all requirements. We intend to continue and expand our offering. In future, we will be working in this area at the ‘We Campus‘ in the heart of Berlin. Here, we will be in tune with urban mobility. The ‘We Campus’ offers ideal conditions for the development and testing of new mobility services.”

According to Volkswagen, a key role will be played by agile working methods, which have been given special attention in the design of the office space, with a total area of 15,900 square meters. In future, interdisciplinary experts including specialists such as product developers, software engineers and UX designers will work together directly at the “We Campus”. Participating technology partners can be directly involved. This will simplify procedures and accelerate the testing of newly developed software and apps.

Volkswagen is applying the two-pizza rule, a concept that is famous among tech companies. Under this organisational principle, agile teams must be so small that two pizzas would be adequate to feed all the team members. This approach suggests that a team size of between eight and ten experts is ideal for promoting personal information exchange and reaping the benefits of agile working including speed and self- organisation without hierarchies.

At the new location, Volkswagen AG and its strategic partner Diconium, as well as 'UMI Mobility International', Volkswagen Group Services and Elli, the 'Volkswagen Naturstrom' provider will all join forces. When all the relocations have been completed, a total of 900 or so experts will be working at the facility. Volkswagen also plans to create new future-oriented jobs at the campus.

In addition, the new Campus as a development centre will play an important role in the new 'Car.Software' unit of the Volkswagen Group and offer itself as a location for other Group brands. By 2025, Volkswagen intends to group more than 5,000 experts in competent areas such as software development, electrical and electronics development, connectivity, automated driving, user experience (UX), cloud architecture and e-commerce together in an agile ‘Car.Software’ unit.

With its “Volkswagen We” ecosystem, Volkswagen is offering a growing range of vehicle-related digital and mobility services which can be used in the car or via a smart phone. These include applications for cashless parking and battery charging (“We Charge”), opening your own car for parcel services and cleaning (“We Deliver” in the new Passat), easy, convenient parking (“We Park”) and the full-electric car sharing service “WeShare”.

It is further revealed by Volkswagen that from 2020, all new models, starting with the full-electric ID.32), are to be connected to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. This will make many functions and services technically feasible for the first time, including vehicle updates and individual and on-demand functions which can be enabled in the car. More than 1.5 million customers are already registered with “Volkswagen We” and the number is steadily growing.