HERNDON, Va.—Volkswagen is putting its resources into developing self-driving vehicles with the establishment of Volkswagen Autonomy, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, Media Post reports. The automobile manufacturer is doing so with the goal of bringing commercial, self-driving vehicles to market first.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will focus on vehicles with a specific purpose, such as robo-vans and robo-taxis. “Autonomous driving presents the entire industry with major challenges: high development costs, extremely high demands on sensor technology plus a lack of regulatory systems and heterogeneous regional standards,” said Alexander Hitzinger, senior vice president for autonomous driving in the Volkswagen Group.
In 2020 and 2021, Volkswagen will add two additional companies, one in China and another in California. “Our goal is to build an agile, high-performance development team with the know-how to realize a self-driving system ready to market,” Hitzinger said.
Volkswagen will begin commercializing large-scale self-driving vehicles “around the middle of the next decade,” Hitzinger said. This year, the Volkswagen Group invested $2.6 billion in Argo AI, an autonomous driving startup backed by Ford.