By Victoria Waldersee
BERLIN (Reuters) – German luxury carmaker Piech Automotive’s first market-ready electric vehicle model will use a software designed by Germany’s Incari which enables it to update its digital dashboard system much quicker than its rivals, both companies said on Wednesday.
The software will enable Piech to update the design of its infotainment system and other software components within minutes, 70% faster than its competitors, Incari CEO Osman Dumbuya said. The updating process usually takes weeks and can rack up 5-digit engineering bills, he added.
German auto manufacturers are investing heavily in top-end engineers to design competitive software as looming competition from Tesla and software giants like Apple wading into the industry threaten to displace the country’s reputation as leaders in technological research and development.
“It’s about speed over size,” said Piech Automotive CEO Toni Piech, who co-founded the firm in 2016, at a showing of the vehicle in Berlin on Wednesday.
“Through our partnership with Incari we have succeeded where most large and established manufacturers have so far failed – a smart, software-based collaboration between designers and engineers very early on,” he said.
Piech Automotive is due to release its 200,000 euro ($226,620.00) Piech GT model in 2024, with a production target of 10,000 cars a year.
The vehicle has already grabbed attention for using a battery technology devised by Chinese company Desten Group which enables an 80% charge in 5 minutes, solving the problem of slow charging time often cited by potential electric vehicle buyers as a barrier to purchase.
Incari’s software, Incari Studio, allows users to build digital interfaces in 3D without needing to know how to code, bypassing the need to refer back to software engineers to make edits or changes in design, Dumbuya said.
Piech is the first autos manufacturer to use the software at scale, but German software firm Incari is testing protoypes with several major European transport firms, Dumbuya said, declining to provide names.
(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Eidting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)