Tesla Has An Industry-Wide Software Lead According To Volkswagen

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According to internal discussions published in the German magazine Automobilwoche, Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess acknowledges Tesla’s significant lead in the area of driver assistance software and systems.

Tesla ahead of its competitors, an open secret well kept within the industry. But internally, tongues are loosening and confessions are falling out, like Herbert Diess, boss of the car giant Volkswagen.

Internal notes consulted by the German magazine Automobilwoche have been leaked, revealing an opinion probably shared by the other big bosses in the field.

To put it plainly, Diess acknowledges Tesla’s lead in two specific areas, software and driver assistance systems, which over the years have become a real cornerstone of the Californian group’s strategy.

The company regularly improves its cars through a simple software update deployed to all or some of its users.


He says he’s “worried” about this, but he’s not mince his words: Tesla’s software would be ahead of Volkswagen and the entire automotive industry.

This leadership would even give him “headaches”, to quote him, while conceding that the American brand’s customers appreciate this “advanced software integration”.

Examples include using the phone to control the vehicle remotely, or building the user experience around a central screen.

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO


As Electrek points out, Tesla has “a large fleet of electric vehicles with sensors to collect data and improve driver assistance functions”, not a fleet for in-house testing or simulation. This, in fact, allows Tesla to receive more real-time feedback to improve its products.

There is still a “long way to go” to catch up with Tesla, Herbert Diess even admitted, although he believes that a new software architecture will bring Tesla up to par with the competition.

However, this is in contrast to the software problems encountered with the ID.3 electric city car: 20,000 of them are currently stuck in spaces rented for the occasion.

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