Volkswagen plans to make autonomous cars mainstream by 2030. Details here
German auto major Volkswagen is reportedly aiming to make self-driving vehicles mainstream by the end of this decade. In interaction with British publication Autocar, Volkswagen boss Thomas Schafer has hinted that the automaker's commercial vehicle division will spearhead the self-driving vehicle program. This means the passenger cars won't get autonomous driving vehicles initially. However, the whole thing is currently in the planning phase, and nothing has been confirmed yet officially.
Interestingly, Volkswagen, along with Ford, has hired several employees of the recently closed US-based autonomous driving firm Argo. This has further fuelled speculation about Volkswagen's self-driving vehicle program development. What's more interesting is that Volkswagen was one of Argo's major investors alongside Ford. It invested around $2.6 billion into Argo. But the latter's bankruptcy seems to have had no impact on VW's plan and ambition for autonomous vehicles.
Speaking about its autonomous vehicle strategy, Schafer has said that the company is aiming at consolidating its development partnerships. However, he didn't give much detail. He also said that there are major hurdles, but the investment in the sector should not stop, as Volkswagen wants to be one of the frontrunners. “You have to put focus on autonomous driving and that is why we are pushing so hard in the CV division because once it happens it opens up profit pools and opportunities. I wouldn’t say the winner takes it all but it’s a game that you need to be in early. You can not wait and then fast forward so that’s why we’re totally focusing on it," Schafer said.
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Volkswagen's commercial vehicle division is currently working on a fully self-driving version of the ID. Buzz. This is expected to deployed as a robotaxi and a delivery vehicle as well. The autonomous driving ID. Buzz electric vehicle is expected to launch in the middle of this decade.