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July 9, 2019

Volkswagen sets up ‘We Campus’ in Berlin

Volkswagen says it will work with partners to develop digital added value and mobility services at the 'We Campus' just opened in Berlin.

By Sam Duke

Volkswagen says it will work with partners to develop digital added value and mobility services at the ‘We Campus’ just opened in Berlin.

The new facility brings 900 experts together and VW says it intends to create further future-oriented jobs. At  the We Campus, interdisciplinary experts will work together to 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. Volkswagen says it is continuously expanding its ecosystem and intends to create further future-oriented jobs at the campus.

“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,” says Christian Senger, Volkswagen Brand Board Member responsible for Digital Car & Services. “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.”

Volkswagen says it has oriented the facility near Alexanderplatz entirely towards the requirements of modern digital development work. 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, VW claims.

‘Two-pizza rule’

Volkswagen is also applying the “two-pizza rule” that is well known from 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-organization 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 VW Group brands. By 2025, Volkswagen intends to group more than 5,000 experts in competence 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.

The Volkswagen ‘We’ ecosystem

With its ‘Volkswagen We’ ecosystem, Volkswagen says it 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’.

From 2020, all new models, starting with the full-electric ID.3, 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, VW says.

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