- VW CEO says autonomous vehicles will arrive by 2030
- The development is now led by the commercial vehicles division after the start-up was closed.
- Expected to roll out in the EU and USA first, focus on Robotex and delivery vans.
Fully autonomous vehicles will be mainstream by 2030, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schaefer has said, after a Volkswagen-backed startup unveiled self-driving ambitions.
Schaefer doubled down on the German automaker’s commitment to autonomous cars, with its commercial vehicle division now leading development in China with its Cariad software arm and Bosch for global markets.
US based startup Argo AI Work was halted last month after Volkswagen and Ford stopped investing, with the latter unlikely to refer to mass-profitable Level 4 autonomous vehicles in the near future.
The two automakers invested more than A$4 billion in 2019 in the company, which previously had more than 2,000 employees and was using the Volkswagen ID.Buzz electric van and the Ford Escape medium SUV as test vehicles.
Argo AI was originally intended to bring the first mass-produced Level 4 autonomous vehicle to Europe and the US by 2025 for the Volkswagen Group.
“Our goal is to deliver the most powerful functions to our customers as quickly as possible and to streamline our development as cost-effectively as possible,” explained Mr. Shaffer. Auto car.
“The technology is available and we are driving. [the ID.Buzz] Autonomy in Hamburg and Munich… and always the need to prove that the system runs better than the human.
“There’s a lot of legislation for that. It’s quite different from country to country.
ID Buzz in its regular, human-powered form
“You have to focus. [autonomous driving] And that’s why we’re putting so much emphasis on CV. [commercial vehicles] Distribution, because once it happens it opens up profit pools and opportunities. I won’t say winner takes it all but it’s a game you need to be in early on. You can’t wait and then move quickly, so that’s what we’re focusing on.
According to ReutersVolkswagen is now planning to expand its partnership with it. Intel Mobile Developing autonomous driving technologies after leaving Argo AI. The Israel-based company is already collaborating with Volkswagen’s Caride software division.
Volkswagen is currently testing a Level 4 Autonomous ID. Buzz autonomous driving prototype German roads using cameras, radar and LiDAR sensors from defunct Argo AI. Self-driving ride-share ‘robo-taxi’ and delivery vans are the focus, but the automaker also teased an autonomous ID.Buzz ambulance.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen’s remaining autonomous subsidiary, Moya, is a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) company that offers ride-share trips in Hamburg using modified all-electric versions of the Multivan T6. – but currently run by a human.
In 2020, Uber halted its self-driving efforts amid profitability concerns and a fatal accident with a pedestrian in 2018.
Google’s Vimo spin-off and General Motors’ Cruze are the other major players in the self-driving race currently testing roads in the US. Like the rest of the automotive industry, autonomous driving development has been hurt by the ongoing shortage of semiconductor supply.