In an exclusive interview with TN, Riclef Schmidt-Clausen and Uwe Reder, Managing Directors of e.solutions GmbH talk about their plans:
Telematics News (TN): Can you give us a brief introduction to e.solutions with an overview of your main products?
Riclef: e.solutions is a joint venture software company founded by EB (Elektrobit) and Audi Electronics Venture with sites in Ingolstadt and Erlangen, Germany. We specialize on integrating own software in the area of system framework, functions and user interfaces with third party functional software stacks (e.g. Navigation, Speech, Media…). The company started in mid 2009 with 50 engineers and has grown to over 100 by now.
Our core project is the new high infotainment generation for the Volkswagen group. Starting in the coming years our software suite will be rolled out to almost any carline within the VW group. Audi is the responsible lead developing brand and will be the first to utilize the infotainment software-suite.
TN: What was the motivation behind forming a joint venture between a vehicle manufacturer (Audi) and an automotive software supplier (EB)?
Uwe: Audi and EB have had a long history of cooperation for over ten years now. EB started doing projects for Audi in 2000 leading to important milestones like the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the sixth generation A6 or an easy portable human-machine interface which is today available in a broad range of models within the VW group.
The A6 user interface project was Audi’s first step of gaining back control and IP generation by being responsible for parts of the infotainment software development in contrary to giving it away to third party suppliers.
The following projects deepened the relationship until the idea evolved, to go one step further towards a so called “turnkey solution”, an infotainment software suite with a modular and exchangeable User Interface. This idea became e.solutions’ core task. A joint venture was the best way to combine the automotive experience of both shareholders.
The initial team was formed by carefully selected employees from both joint venture partners: From Audi’s side, the team was made up of almost the complete software team, who had just before released the new A8 infotainment system. The same people, who had been working on the A8 infotainment system from EB’s side, also joined in. Plus, a framework development group was selected to work for e.solutions. All in all this made up the headcount to the initial 50 software engineers.
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