Following on the announcement of the shuttering of Argo AI, the autonomous driving venture backed by VW and Ford (earlier post), Volkswagen announced it is focusing its development activities for autonomous and highly automated driving. In the area of autonomous driving as a service (MaaS/TaaS), the Group is consolidating its development partnerships. Volkswagen will no longer invest in Argo AI.
Volkswagen is working with Argo AI to provide continued employment for employees and to further develop the most promising projects in the field of autonomous driving. All other collaborations with Ford remain unchanged.
In individual mobility, Cariad is continuing to drive forward the development of highly automated and autonomous driving together with Bosch and, in the future, in China with Horizon Robotics.
Especially in the development of future technologies, focus and speed count. Our goal is to offer our customers the most powerful functions at the earliest possible time and to set up our development as cost-effectively as possible.—Oliver Blume, CEO Volkswagen AG
The development of autonomous driving is a core component of the Volkswagen NEW AUTO strategy. Within the Group, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is responsible for implementing this development specifically for the Mobility and Transportation as a Service (MaaS / TaaS) areas, while the technology company Cariad is responsible for developing partially and highly automated driving functions (up to SAE Level 4) for the Group’s passenger car brands. Together with development partners, the two companies will continue to drive forward the development of autonomous driving technologies.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is further expanding its cooperation to develop technology for its autonomous driving mobility fleets with a partner. This will be announced shortly. Correspondingly equipped ID. Buzz prototypes are already on the road with this partner in a test program.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ goal for autonomous driving remains: In 2025, customers are expected to be able to use MOIA to book the autonomously driving ID. Buzz in Hamburg in 2025.
Cariad will continue to drive the development of automated driving for individual mobility in the Automated Driving Alliance with Bosch. The companies aim to make partially and highly automated driving suitable for mass use and available to everyone.
The aim is to provide functions for vehicles of the Volkswagen Group's brand groups that allow drivers to explicitly take their hands off the steering wheel at times. These are advanced driver assistance systems, level 2 systems, for city, countryside and highway, in which the driver is comprehensively supported by the vehicle, and a system in which the vehicle takes over the complete driving task on the highway (SAE level 3). The first functions are to be implemented in 2023.
For the Chinese market, Cariad additionally plans to cooperate with Horizon Robotics to drive forward the development of automated driving on a regional basis in one of the world's most important growth markets. In the area of hardware, the Group has also entered into a partnership with Qualcomm for high-performance chips for automated driving.