Volkswagen has turned to AWS to help it “automate all automobile manufacturing and logistics processes” in a landmark global agreement that will ultimately integrate more than 30,000 facilities and 1,500 partners in VW’s supply chain into a “Volkswagen Industrial Cloud” that is underpinned by AWS.
The major contract win for AWS will see it develop a “company-wide” data lake built on Amazon S3; IoT services to deliver insight into production; use of AWS’s managed Machine Learning service SageMaker to deploy machine learning models that help optimise the operation of machinery in VW plants, and more.
The contract puts AWS at the heart of a major efficiency drive for VW, which is facing market headwinds and an increase in inventories after a new emissions testing procedure delayed road certification for many of its vehicles.
VW said late last year said it was midway through a “paradigm shift from a product-oriented company to a production- and process-oriented company”. It sees the potential for efficiency savings of €2.6 billion through 2025 in production alone.
AWS Volkswagen Contract Includes “Outposts”
“Volkswagen will use the suite of AWS IoT services to detect, collect, organise, and run sophisticated analytics on data from the plant floor,” it said in a release.
The company will deploy a hybrid model, using AWS Outposts, the cloud giant’s “cloud in your own data centre” offering for latency sensitive applications.
“We will continue to strengthen production as a key competitive factor for the Volkswagen Group. Our strategic collaboration with AWS will lay the foundation,” Oliver Blume, VW’s board member responsible for production.
“The Volkswagen Group, with its global expertise in automobile production, and AWS, with its technological know-how, complement each other extraordinarily well. With our global industry platform we want to create a growing industrial ecosystem with transparency and efficiency bringing benefits to all concerned.”
Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS added: “Volkswagen’s and AWS’s collaboration will have a profound impact on efficiency and quality in production throughout Volkswagen’s global supply chain… We are tightly aligned across Volkswagen’s businesses to help them reimagine the future of automobile manufacturing by taking advantage of all the benefits the cloud can deliver.”
Deal Follows “Infotainment” Win for Microsoft Azure
The contract, announced today, is the second major cloud agreement in six months for VW. In September 2018 the company announced that its in-car “infotainment” systems would all be built on Microsoft systems and linked to Azure in future.
More than five million new VW brand vehicles per year will be connected to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform from 2020 onwards, the two said, with Volkswagon to set up a new cloud development office near Microsoft’s HQ and hire 300 engineers.