Volkswagen has 4,000 engineers in China, with an average age of 29, spread over five research and development sites and a rapidly growing number of software engineers. “In a short period from now they will be able to do 15 to 20 million lines of programming code on an annual basis,” Volkswagen China’s passenger cars chief Stephan Woellenstein said in Shanghai on Monday. The prevalence of software engineers, combined with the country’s willingness to roll out the infrastructure for connected and self-driving cars, will make China one of the first markets in which autonomous cars gain widespread acceptance, VW managers said. As a result, Chinese suppliers will help Volkswagen Group to design a global autonomous vehicle architecture, he said. “Part of the software development work can be done for instance in Chinese facilities out of Volkswagen Group China,” Woellenstein said. For connected vehicles technology China will become a leading global research and development center, said Sven Patuschka, Head of Volkswagen Group China’s research and development.
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