It seems that software is to the auto industry what alcohol is to Homer Simpson: the cause of — and solution to — all of life's problems.
Software has become a huge part of modern life. And while we've all been told that autos today have multiple times more lines of code than the space shuttle did, the bold new frontier is for cars to have more — much more — software.
But it isn't easy. It isn't at the core of what automakers have traditionally done.
And while it's possible to add line after line of code, at some point, there's too much code and it takes too long to function — especially too long for a car to, say, drive itself. There are storage issues and transmission issues and plain old challenges with execution and accuracy.
So the solution is a full platform or architecture or operating system — and many automakers are working on just such a system. And it's hard.
Volkswagen reinvented itself around electrification and software. Batteries, motors, range and cost — challenging, but doable. A full-blown operating system — much, much harder.
VW's Cariad software division has missed deadlines and cost controls, which sources said played a large role in CEO Herbert Diess' ouster last year.
Now the leadership of the unit is being overhauled again, and the rollout of a Level 4 automated-driving-capable software platform has been delayed by two to four years, sources told Reuters.