Volkswagen and IBM on Tuesday (5 September) announced they would develop digital mobility services together.

Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen brand sales chief, said: "The objective of the agreement between Volkswagen and IBM, which has initially been concluded for a term of five years, is the development of personalised digital services for the driver, with a view to actively shaping the growing trend towards networking between vehicles and drivers."

"In the course of the partnership, we will cooperate closely with Volkswagen to bring greater intelligence to digital mobility services and ensure faster implementation of new ideas," said Dirk Wollschläger, IBM's general manager global automotive industry.

"Our objective is to establish an open marketplace for developers so that they have the possibility of creating a joint digital platform. Volkswagen will benefit from our long-standing industry expertise, our cloud services and our AI-based Watson technologies as well as our digital design know-how."

We Commerce will be the first joint development within the VW WE digital ecosystem. This will be an integrated service to provide drivers with recommendations for action at the right place and time. After the customer's permission has been obtained, the cognitive abilities of the IBM technology will ensure these services learn from the driver's preferences and habits in order to make recommendations that are as personalised as possible.

Retailers, filling station chains, the hotel sector and restaurants will be able to use We Commerce to place their offerings in a targeted way directed towards individual customers.

"These new digital products will be developed by interdisciplinary teams on the basis of agile principles in development and testing cycles which are as short as possible in order to create services tailored to the actual needs of customers," Stackmann said.

This cooperation will be part of VW's FAST program. In future, this will allow interchange with suppliers, which is more intensive to take place at an earlier stage in strategic and technological terms.

"With IBM as a key partner for our FAST programme, we will show how fast we can succeed in implementing our ambitious plans for the development of digital services," said Ralf Brandstätter, VW's head of procurement.

The newly developed services will be operated by a VW cloud and an IBM hybrid cloud. The basic services of VW's digital platform will be combined with the wide variety of cognitive capabilities and additional micro-services as such as machine learning in the IBM cloud. With access to the IBM Cloud Services Catalogue, Volkswagen and national sales companies and partners will also be able to develop market-specific services to satisfy present and future mobility needs rapidly and independently.