Volkswagen Group and Aurora Innovations have teamed up to build, develop, and test autonomous cars. Aurora had already teamed up earlier with automaker Hyundai, with Volkswagen being the second automaker to work with Aurora is a race to develop a self-driving car. Volkswagen plans to initially roll out a door to door shuttle service using autonomous technology. The vehicles will be all-electric car with the Sedric concept (pictured below) being what VW has in mind for this self-driving program.
Volkswagen and Aurora plan to have a fleet of 100 cars ready to test before the end of the year. Half of the fleet will be assigned testing in Silicon Valley, while the other half of the fleet will be tested in Germany. Ultimately both partners aim to grow the fleet and expand to other cities next decade.
Volkswagen’s chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth said in a statement, “Our vision is ‘mobility for all, at the push of a button.’ This means that we want to offer mobility for all people around the world. Mobility also for children, elderly, sick, and visually impaired people, really for all.”
Next decade there will be quite a broad range of self-driving cars roaming the streets. Dozens of automakers and companies (Google’s Waymo, Ford, GM, Tesla) are currently testing or soon will be testing their autonomous cars on the streets. Volkswagen wants to catch up with those already in the game and with Aurora Innovation’s know-how, it’ll be easier to join in the growing and crowded arena of self-driving cars. Both companies have already began integrating Aurora’s self-driving technology (LIDAR, sensors, software) into several Volkswagen vehicles. We don’t know which vehicles these applications were applied to, but eventually we’ll see it.
Image credits: Aurora Innovations