German automotive industry creates sector-spanning digital platform

March 03, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
German automotive industry creates sector-spanning digital platform
Data is the currency of the 21st century: according to this motto, the German automotive industry plans to connect with its suppliers. The goal is a uniform digital platform, serving as a kind of digital data hub.

With the Catena-X initiative, in which numerous companies along the automotive value chain are participating, the industry intends to improve supply security, process any recalls more quickly and, more generally, advance digitalisation.

The initiative focuses on two central fields of action in which the German automotive industry wants to underpin its leading position on the global market through the cooperative use of data and AI: system competence in autonomous driving and the digitalisation of value creation across all suppliers. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse and his colleague from Daimler, Ola Källenius, presented the "Catena-X Automotive Network" initiative on Tuesday, which numerous companies have now joined. The aim is to build a collaborative and open data network that will revolutionise automotive production in Germany and Europe. According to the industry leaders, this is a prerequisite for creating new digital and competitive solutions for more sustainability, flexibility and resilience.

As an implementation-oriented network and to ensure openness and neutrality, Catena-X plans to organise itself as a registered association. The initiative sees itself as an expandable ecosystem in which automotive manufacturers and suppliers and equipment suppliers, which include application, platform and infrastructure providers, can equally participate. The goal is to create a uniform standard for data and information flows throughout the automotive value chain.

Through standardised information and data availability, the participating companies hope to increase the competitiveness of the automotive industry, improve efficiency in industry-specific cooperation and accelerate company processes across the board. A particular focus will also be on SMEs, whose active participation is of central importance for the success of the network. Catena-X is therefore conceived from the outset as an open network with "SME-ready" solutions, in which these are to participate quickly and with low IT infrastructure investments.

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