While Aurora is an ideal partner in the automated driving world, industry insiders expected Volkswagen to keep AD development inhouse. Audi, the Bavaria-based car manufacturer and part of the Volkswagen group, spun off its subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) in early 2017 to ready a level 5 car for series production. “Autonomous Intelligent Driving is working for the entire Volkswagen group,” Audi boss Rupert Stadler said at the time. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg, where the Volkswagen group is headquartered, was already working on an alternative. “We have been discussing a cooperation with Aurora since 2016. Talking became doing in mid-2017,” said group Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth earlier this year.
Responsible for developing self-driving systems for the Volkswagen group, Jungwirth is stepping on the accelerator to keep up with tech companies such as Waymo and Uber. “It is important that we meet our timing goals,” Jungwirth told 2025AD.com at the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS). “Aurora and AID are competing. We foster competition not just between service providers, but also with inhouse teams,” says Jungwirth. Volkswagen is aiming to put 50 test vehicles on the road this year. In 2019, the number is to increase by factor 10 before reaching 5,000 autonomous Volkswagen models in 2020.
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