The carmaker wants to make its ‘mobility for all, at the push of a button’ vision a reality
Self-driving technology company, Aurora, and the Volkswagen Group are forming a strategic partnership to make ‘mobility for all, at the push of a button’, become a reality.
It made the announcement ahead of the CES 2018 event which opens tomorrow in Las Vegas. The partnership brings the two companies together to bring self-driving electric vehicles to cities as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) fleets.
The Volkswagen Group defined its goal of becoming a global leader in autonomous driving with its dedicated Self-Driving System (SDS) in its future programme: TOGETHER – Strategy 2025.
Chief digital officer, Johann Jungwirth, who leads the partnership, said: “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. ‘At the push of a button’ stands for simplicity and the ease of use.
“In the future people can of course use our mobility app or digital virtual assistant to hail a self-driving electric vehicle to drive them conveniently door-to-door, or use our Volkswagen OneButton which has GPS, connectivity and a compass, as a small beautiful key fob with maximum convenience. Working with Aurora, leading self-driving system company, will give us a giant leap forward in our mission to become the world’s leading provider of sustainable mobility, with self-driving vehicles.
"Our aim is to create new mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions which customers will be really passionate about because they have been tailored to the human with highest safety standards, best-in-class user experience and digital intelligence. For me this is the reinvention of mobility and the automobile.”
The collaboration with Aurora will provide valuable experience with the world-class engineering team to the ongoing development of software and hardware for driverless vehicles, and, additionally, mobility services for urban and rural areas.
As the Self-Driving System (SDS) reaches the required maturity and safety levels in the first cities, it can be integrated across the Group brands, for different product categories, from fully self-driving pods like SEDRIC, shuttles or delivery vans to self-driving trucks without a cabin.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) at Stanford University have been working intensively with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence technology in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms.
With the customer experience at the centre of this technology development, the Volkswagen Group is focused on creating new solutions tailored to the best-in-class user experience with a focus on safety, convenience and usability.
Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora said: “Our priority at Aurora is to make self-driving cars a reality quickly, broadly and safely, and we know we will get there faster by partnering with innovative automakers like the Volkswagen Group. This partnership establishes a deep collaboration using Aurora’s self-driving technology, and together we will bring self-driving vehicles to market at scale.”
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