Mobility solutions for people and goods in urban areas will be the first application case for the self-driving system (SDS) from Volkswagen Autonomy (VWAT). In July, the Volkswagen Group announced closer cooperation in the field of autonomous driving with Ford which, subject to official approvals, includes a stake in Argoi AI, a company specialised in the software development for autonomous driving. Argo AI and VWAT will work closely together on the realisation of the SDS. In the development of the system the company will put a strong focus on systems engineering and industrialisation. The aim is to establish an SDS as a standard module for all Group brands in future.
The first application cases are planned in the commercial sector. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as the brand for Autonomous Driving, MaaS and TaaS in the Group will develop and build special purpose vehicles (SPV) such as robo taxis and robo vans. In a co-creation approach together with VWCV as a customer VWAT will develop the respective systems.
By the end of the year resources from Volkswagen Group research allocated to autonomous driving will be transferred to VWAT. In 2020 and 2021 two further companies will be founded in Silicon Valley and in China respectively in addition to the company in Germany. More than half of the staff will be employed in Munich and Wolfsburg. Munich was chosen as a further site in Germany as the Group company Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) is already headquartered there. At the same time the site will become the European headquarters of Argo AI. Silicon Valley was selected as a further site due to its proximity to ARGO AI and to the world’s leading talent pool for autonomous driving. Furthermore, the legislation offers favourable conditions for the further development of the SDS. An SDS development site in China is needed to comply with local legal requirements. China has a particularly important role as the largest market of the Volkswagen Group and on account of the high traffic complexity.