Beijing | April 13, 2023 –ThunderSoft, the well-known intelligent operating system products and technologies provider and CARIAD, the automotive software & technology company of Volkswagen Group, will form a new partnership to accelerate the development of connectivity and infotainment systems in China. China is a dynamic ICV market with a consumer base that demands cutting-edge, innovative driving experiences. As part of its “in China, for China” strategy, CARIAD is partnering with leading technology companies to further enhance its R&D competence, drawing on a customer-oriented mindset to deliver localized innovation.
The partnership will accelerate CARIAD to provide localized applications for entertainment, user experience and interactions (UX/UI) to vehicles of Volkswagen Group brands and will leverage CARIAD’s vehicle software and hardware integration capabilities, Volkswagen Group’s platform synergy, and ThunderSoft’s expertise in operating systems as well as smart cockpit. The partners will focus on developing and testing software products and solutions in the areas of connectivity and infotainment, including software development services for operating systems, human-machine interfaces, cockpits, and cloud development. Through the partnership, the two parties plan to establish a joint venture in China, in which ThunderSoft and CARIAD will hold a 51% and 49% stake respectively. The joint venture will deliver on the innovation priorities of the Volkswagen Group and CARIAD in China, while also providing benefits to ThunderSoft.
“The intelligent revolution is driving automobile industry into a new era, where software is playing an increasingly important role. We’re happy to join hands with CARIAD, leveraging knowhow from both sides to empower the industry with more innovative software products and solutions, and to enrich the intelligent world together”, said Hongfei ZHAO, Chairman and CEO of ThunderSoft.
Ralf Brandstätter, Chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: “The needs and requirements of the Chinese customers are in the center of our strategic efforts. This partnership is a further important step to speed up our digital transformation and to strengthen our R&D strategy to develop more tailor-made innovations in China, for China.”
“A seamless, integrated and personalized user experience is becoming a key differentiator for software-defined vehicles. Consumers in China and around the world are demanding vehicles with innovative, smart cockpits that can meet their distinct needs. Through the strategic partnership with ThunderSoft, CARIAD is committed to providing scalable, innovative solutions for infotainment and connectivity in China at a faster speed,” said CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg.
ThunderSoft, a well-known intelligent operating system products and technologies provider, has been continuously accumulating and innovating in the operating system field, with its business expanding gradually from smart phone to smart vehicle, AIOT and smart industries. It was successfully listed in 2015, which leads it to be China’s first listed technical company specialized in the intelligent operating system. Till now, ThunderSoft has covered more than 40 cities around the world, with a total of over 13,000 employees.
CARIAD is an independent automotive software company in the Volkswagen Group that is consolidating and further expanding the Group’s software competencies. The company is developing the leading technology stack for the automotive industry with the mission to make the automotive experience safer, more sustainable and more comfortable for people. Established in 2020 under the name Car.Software Organization, CARIAD now has more than 6,500 experts worldwide working on a scalable technology stack for all Volkswagen Group brands, comprising a software platform, a unified electronic architecture and a reliable connection to the automotive cloud. The company is also developing digital functions for the vehicle, including driver assistance systems, a standardized infotainment platform, software functions for linking powertrains, chassis and charging technology, as well as the new digital ecosystem and digital services in and around the vehicle. CARIAD has software competence centers in Wolfsburg, Ingolstadt, the Stuttgart region, Berlin and Munich, and has subsidiaries in China and the USA. For more information, visit https://cariad.technology.
About CARIAD China
In April 2022, CARIAD announced its ambitious plan for China and established its China subsidiary. As CARIAD’s first subsidiary outside Europe, with a clear mission of ‘In China for China’, the local team will provide innovative mobility solutions based on local consumer demand with a customer experience-oriented mindset. The China team will focus on six clusters for local development and adaptation in China: user experience, user interaction, ADAS/AD, vehicle & system integration, data handling, and hardware. With more than 850 staff, the company has set up branches in Anhui (Hefei) and Shanghai in addition to the Beijing headquarters, and plans to further build up R&D teams in Sichuan (Chengdu) and Zhejiang (Hangzhou) to gradually establish a distributed R&D network nationwide.