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Volkswagen creates standalone autonomous tech development division

Volkswagen creates standalone autonomous tech development division


Team will help to improve firm’s autonomy efforts

Volkswagen has created a new sub-division called Volkswagen Autonomy which is tasked with developing self-driving technology which can then be used across the group’s brands.

Announced during this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the move will see a standalone entity created in Munich, Wolfsburg, Berlin and a Silicon Valley city called Belmont.

Alex Hitzinger, the division’s CEO, told Autoblog: "Volkswagen Autonomy is the group's center of competence for the development of autonomous technology.

"We need full control over the systems, because, as an OEM, we're responsible for safety, and for the integration into our vehicles. Volkswagen Autonomy will do that. Argo will concentrate on core software.”

"Level 5, in my view, is a theory," he said. "That means full autonomy, everywhere, at any point in time. That maybe will never happen; who knows? I always talk about Level 4."

The new department will also be helped by tech start-up Argo AI, which both Volkswagen and Ford have invested money into.

Volkswagen is already pushing hard with its electric range of vehicles, and aims to bring a host of battery-powered cars to market over the next few years. At present, many of its cars feature a basic level of autonomous assistance, but this is likely to develop moving forward.