*Now you know really everything about your Volkswagen….


In a world where information is becoming more and more important with the second, people track their life. When I want to track particular actions within my day there is a high chance that there is an app supporting this. For example, for tracking my sleeping rhythm I use Sleep As Android, for tracking my nutrition I use Calorific, for tracking my sport performance I use Mytracks and so on and so forth. Fact is that nowadays we can track basically whatever we want wherever we want it.

Now you can also track your car. Volkswagen, literally  translated as “the people’s car company” launched in 2015 an app that displays data about both your car and driving style. Loads of information are tracked within one user-friendly dashboard. First of all, the app provides information to those who forget whether they locked the doors, used the parking breaks or for the extreme cases where their care is. But there is more, it tells you when you have to tank, how much fuel you use, whether you are sustainable or not and much more. Overall, Volkswagen tries to turn driving into a game. Hence, gamification techniques are included within their app. By introducing this app, they claim to invest into a ‘blue’ ‘ecofriendly’ future. It is stated that is increases sustainability by using this app. Personally I think this is a good act against pollution. Making your customers aware is at least a great start and I think it would be useful to get insight into your driving data.

But now comes the most ironical part and also the main reason that I am writing this blog. Ironically enough they launched their “my Volkswagen app”  in the same year that was discovered that VW had been installing elaborate software into ‘clean diesels engines’. Hence, the same Volkswagen that claims to be ‘ecofriendly’ is not that ecofriendly with their diesel engines at all. With an algorithm they tracked certain patterns in the steering mechanism, if this matched and or was close to the programmed testing mode a different engine setting would come up. As a result, the Volkswagen would pass the test instead of failing it miserably.

It is interesting to see how a company uses technology for two completely different purposes. On the one hand they try to create the impression of acting green whilst on the other they use technology for committing fraud.

I will be transparent and not only put Volkswagen in a negative spot. The scandal goes further within the Vokswagen Group, also seat implemented the technology. It is speculated that multiple brands will follow. For example, today (24/9/2015) it was also found that the same technology was used by BMW.

*So question yourself, do you really know everything about a Volkswagen?  I am curious to your ideas about this!

Sources:

Apphttp://www.volkswagen.nl/mijnvolkswagen

Technology:http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9365667/volkswagen-clean-diesel-recall-passenger-cars

More brands: http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1013/Buitenland/article/detail/4148895/2015/09/24/Dieselschandaal-breidt-zich-uit-naar-andere-merken.dhtml

Image: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772

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2 responses to “*Now you know really everything about your Volkswagen….”

  1. 370068da says :

    First, I don’t own a car myself, but from my experience, Volkswagen are pretty good cars. The scandal which is going on right now makes it a little bit difficult, especially for the US market, since they advertised the most with providing an ecofriendly car in the US. One thing you noticed was that Seat and BMW also implemented the same kind of software. Today I read an article about BMW that they deny any involvement in using software to make cars cleaner like VW did.

    The thing I actually want to say in this comment is, that I don’t really ask myself if I really know Volkswagen or not, but I ask myself if I really know the car industry and their incentives? For instance, this month a case was settled with GM. GM sold cars that had problems with the ignition switch; it could shut off and disabling the car’s airbag, power steering and power brakes. All in all, 124 people died because of this. The settlement in the US only was 900 million dollars. In the US at first it looks like big companies can be fined quite heavily, but this article stated that big companies can not be fined heavily that easy. I think GM can be an example for that, because is 900 million enough for actually killing 124 people? An US attorney actually stated the following: ‘Technically, it isn’t illegal to sell a car that has a defect that can kill people’. The point I want to make is, of course we need to punish Volkswagen, but is it only Volkswagen ?

    I really don’t want to be the guy that says that Volkswagen is a good company. But what I do want to do, is ask you another question: Do you think the car industry is ethical enough? It seems like Volkswagen currently is the worst car company in the world, but what did other car companies do?

    Sources:
    http://www.telegraaf.nl/autovisie/autovisie_nieuws/bmw/24536760/__Autobild_trekt_conclusies_over_uitstoot_BMW_in__.html
    http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/17/news/companies/gm-recall-ignition-switch/

  2. 344159pd says :

    VW scandal is just the tip of the iceberg
    For years, environment groups and Germany’s VCD automobile association have warned about falsified fuel and exhaust data. A special software installed on a small computer recognizes that the vehicle is not running normally, but instead, running in test mode. The software knows the front wheels are turning but the vehicle is not moving – which can easily be determined by GPS. There are also other ways of using software to recognize a test run. This practice has been going on for years and we’ve had our suspicions for a long time but lacked evidence. The US authorities have now found proof. We assume that other manufacturers have been using this technology for years. The fuel consumption data provided by manufacturers is striking. The gap between values on paper and reality has been growing. The difference indicates that different methods are used to cheat in tests. “Well, the others are doing it, so we have to as well.” It is an open secret that test mode recognition software is being used.

    This is the shocking summary of an interview with the VCD spokesman Gerd Lottsiepen. For me this shows the complex and subjective way people react on certain news. VW has been highly critized and that is perfectly normal in world of open information and role model companies. But the fact that such a high positioned person declares the immense scale of this type of fraud and the reactions on this statement disappears in the shades of the dark shows the huge imbalance in the current culture of reacting and critizing.

    Nowadays you should not be afraid of doing unethical things but you should be afraid that you are the first who is caught.

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