In addition to helping ESA prepare safer space missions, Critical Software allied a year ago with the BMW group to create Critical TechWorks, a joint venture that wants to help the German company build the car of the future. By bringing together knowledge and experience in software engineering applied to the automotive and mobility sector, the company aims to end 2020 with a team of 1,000 employees in Portugal. Headquartered in Porto since September 1, 2018, the Portuguese-German partnership closed its first year with a positive balance: more than 500 employees in its team, two open offices and several new projects.
Autonomous driving, in-car infotainment systems and electrification are just some of the technology fronts under development by the joint venture, as well as improving production efficiency at the German group's factories. In addition, the company has been helping BMW develop custom smart assistants.
The use of artificial intelligence in various areas has, in recent times, raised issues related to the violation of privacy by regulators and legislators in the United States and Europe. As Paulo Guedes, Critical TechWorks CFO pointed out to SAPO TEK, “The growing connectivity of vehicles raises new safety challenges, which we work daily to ensure they are successfully overcome. It is crucial to invest heavily in this field so as to prevent any unwanted entry and face the challenges effectively. ”
Assistants present in German group cars collect information similar to the temperature of the air conditioner or the seats you usually use to understand your preferences. According to Paulo Guedes, "BMW only collects the data necessary for users to be able to use the vehicles' features and upon their prior agreement – and after this collection the data is anonymised."
After being able to form a 500-member team in its office in the Lisbon capital in just one year, Critical TechWorks is now targeting a new office in the north of the country. The company's teams will continue, in the words of its CFO to SAPO TEK, “to design the factories, dealers, sales and driving experience and the operation of the connected cities of the future” at the Correios Building in Porto.
According to statements by Critical TechWorks CEO Rui Cordeiro in the company's press release, “We are very pleased with the course of the last 12 months, we have made a clear mark of our work at BMW, but our adventure has just begun. ”In its mission to become a reference in software development for the automotive industry, the goal of the Luso-German partnership is to reach 2020 with 1,000 employees. “Soon, we will have news about some initiatives that we will launch to attract the best talent in Portugal,” said Paulo Guedes.