Volkswagen Group and leading self-driving technology company, Aurora Innovation, announced a strategic collaboration ahead of this week’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The collaboration brings the two companies together to realize self-driving electric vehicles in cities as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) fleets.
The Volkswagen Group defined its goal of becoming a global leader in autonomous driving with its dedicated Self-Driving System (SDS) in its future program “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025”.
This strategic direction builds on a long tradition for the Volkswagen Group as a leader in the fields of automated vehicle and advanced mobility technologies. In 2005, a Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab-Stanford University team claimed victory at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, which is widely considered the dawn of the automated vehicle era.
Self-driving technology is set to become the centerpiece of future personal mobility.
The collaboration with Aurora will provide valuable experience with the world-class engineering team to the ongoing development of software and hardware for driverless vehicles, and, additionally, mobility services for urban and rural areas.
With this new agreement, the Volkswagen Group is stepping up the pace of its strategic initiatives. As the Self-Driving System (SDS) reaches the required maturity and safety levels in the first cities, it can be integrated across the Group brands, for different product categories: from fully self-driving pods, like SEDRIC, the Volkswagen concept introduced in 2017.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) at Stanford University have already been working intensively with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as Machine Learning and AI technology in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms.
With the customer experience at the centre of this technology development, the Volkswagen Group is focused on creating new solutions, with the goal of providing best-in-class user experience with a focus on safety, convenience and usability. Cities need such smart mobility solutions to help solve their traffic, pollution and traffic safety challenges.
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