Audi joins Daimler and BMW development alliance
According to a report by “Wirtschaftswoche”, the Ingolstadt-based automobile manufacturer has joined forces with Daimler and BMW in the field of autonomous driving. The scope of the cooperation is to differ from the cooperation between VW and Ford.
According to a report by “Wirtschaftswoche”, Audi plans to announce during the IAA in September a cooperation with the South German OEMs BMW and Daimler to develop technology for automated driving. The three premium manufacturers concentrate on driver assistance systems, highly automated driving on motorways and parking functions. The VW Group is planning to create robotic cars without steering wheels in partnership with VW and Ford - the commercial vehicle division of the Wolfsburg-based company will take the lead in this project.
Background: Daimler with BMW and Ford with VW
Daimler and BMW announced in February to jointly advance autonomous systems up to level 4. From the middle of the next decade, they are supposed to be available on a broad scale. The partners are driving the industrialization of autonomous driving forward with a scalable architecture. Already at that time the OEMs said they were open for further partners.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen also allied with a car maker in the field electric mobility and autonomous driving - with Ford. An important component of the expanded cooperation is the joint majority stake in Argo AI, a specialist in autonomous driving. The young American start-up is to develop the technical basis for equipping Ford and VW cars with self-driving capabilities in the medium term.
Argo AI and AID combine forces
With the support of VW, Argo AI will have further resources at its disposal. Volkswagen will invest $ 2.6 billion (€ 2.3 billion) in Argo AI, the companies announced. The amount is derived from a budget of one billion dollars. VW is also contributing its own AID division for autonomous driving, which has 200 employees and is valued at € 1.6 billion. The value of Argo AI is estimated to rise to about $ 7 billion. The current AID headquarters in Munich will serve as Argo AI's European headquarters. The location is to enable the company to test autonomous vehicles in Europe as early as next year and thus help adapt the technology to European requirements.
Argo AI's goal is to develop a self-driving system (SDS) suitable for the global mass market. In addition to the software, the start-up also develops the sensor and computer technology. The aim is to develop a completely and easily integrated technology package for a large number of models in cooperation with Ford, VW and their suppliers. Argo intends to work closely with the product development teams of both car manufacturers.
This article was first published in German by Automobil Industrie.