As legacy automotive companies prepare for the fast-approaching future of electric and self-driving cars, they turn to partnerships and collaborations in order to stay competitive. Back in January, German giant Volkswagen Group, the world's largest automaker by sales, and the sixth-largest, Ford Motor Company, announced an alliance for the joint development of commercial vehicles such as vans and pickup trucks.
Today, Reuters reports that the two companies have agreed to expand their partnership, sharing electric and autonomous car technologies that will be used on passenger cars. Furthermore, Volkswagen will give Ford access to its MEB electric vehicle platform, a modular platform that the company has been developing over the past few years and plans to use for all its sub-brands eventually.
Ford has been testing its own self-driving vehicles in the US and it is unknown how those efforts will be affected by the latest developments. Volkswagen’s board is scheduled to meet on July 11 to discuss further details on the two manufacturers’ expanding relationship.
Besides collaborating with each other, the two companies have also taken advantage of new opportunities offered by the tech industry, as part of their digital transformation push. Volkswagen will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology as a base for its Automotive Cloud that will provide digital and mobility services across its fleet, while Ford is using the software giant’s HoloLens augmented reality headset in its design process.