Image: Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Group has acquired 49pc of the shares in Diconium, a German digital specialist. Diconium is to become a technology partner to develop new digital business models and services offered via the Microsoft-enabled Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, building on the Volkswagen We ecosystem.

Based in Stuttgart, with around 800 employees in Germany, Portugal, the USA and India, Diconium has its main business in sales platforms for digital products and services, and IT systems for customer management; it also works on digital strategy development and user experience (UX) design. It was established in 1995 and was formerly known as dmc.

Christoph Harting, head of digital & new business/mobility services, Volkswagen, said in a statement: “We intend to expand our core business sustainably and to offer our customers more and more tailor-made digital value-added services in and around their vehicles… Together, we will offer customers a wide and convenient range of services that they can use with their mobile devices or in their cars. With Diconium, we have secured the support of a strong technology partner with substantial experience and considerable competence in the development of digital sales solutions.”

Mobility research lab initiative launched…

Volkswagen has also recently launched its Open Source Lab for Sustainable Mobility, an open platform initiative for dialogue and research. Funded by the Volkswagen Group Sustainability Council, it is based on the EUREF campus in central Berlin, in partnership with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH), and will have its own independent, interdisciplinary research agenda to include topics such as urban planning, social justice and governance. A launch event in Berlin this week involved round-table discussions on sustainable mobility with international representatives from research, non-profit organisations, start-ups and established firms.

…and infotainment innovation in the digital cockpit

Applying its thinking directly into the in-car experience, Volkswagen confirmed this week that it is to integrate new infotainment content and features into the latest Touareg. In partnership with Cinemo, a provider of multimedia playback, streaming, media management, connectivity and cloud technologies, the Touareg’s digital platform will host greater user control and personalization, including ‘bring your own device’ remote control of the head unit or rear seat entertainment screens. This is via Volkswagen’s media control app for iOS or Android, with the Cinemo Distributed Playback and Distributed Media Management middleware connecting devices and all available media in the car: this is said to “decode, play, render, stream, manage and index virtually any file, disc, connected device, streaming format and cloud content”.