Volkswagen is working on its Accelerate strategy to prepare for “profound changes” in the automotive industry, accelerating its development work on the integration of software into the vehicle, the digital customer experience, data-based business models, and the goal to make autonomous driving more widely available before the end of the decade.
For the dynamics world, the big news is that Volkswagen regards software as being key in the development of chassis and steering systems for highly automated driving. The OEM is now developing the next generation of a regulated chassis, and a new steering system.
Volkswagen is keeping the exact details under wraps at this stage, but Karsten Schebsdat, head of vehicle dynamics and chassis control systems at Volkswagen, shared the effects of the work to date: “The body’s pitching and rolling movements are significantly minimised and the driving dynamics optimised, because the car reacts to steering movements more quickly and is more precise to drive. And this development is very important in terms of highly automated driving. This is how we ensure passengers are as comfortable as possible in all situations.”
Schebsdat’s team is also working on next-generation software systems, as they believe software will play an even greater role in defining the character of a car. As part of this work, they are forging ahead with the development of a new steering system.
“Software will also be more important for steering in the future,” said Schebsdat. “It gives us many more opportunities to influence steering characteristics, which can be implemented on a model-specific basis for all platforms later on.”
Volkswagen says that driver-assistance systems such as Lane Assist and Travel Assist will also benefit from this steering system when the components enter series production.