Volkswagen (VW) CEO Thomas Schafer believes that the automaker’s autonomous cars will be globally mainstream by 2030. In an interview with AutoCar, he said that the automaker was “consolidating its development partnerships.”
“Our goal is to offer our customers the most powerful functions at the earliest possible time and to set up our development as cost-effectively as possible,” he added. Its software company, Cariad, will focus on autonomous development in China, and Bosch will be its partner for the rest of the world. Schafer added that the company was driving autonomously in Hamburg and Munich.
“The technology is available, and we are driving in Hamburg and Munich autonomously. The cost of the car is still prohibitive because so little of it gets manufactured. And there’s always the need to prove that the system drives better than a human. The legislation for it is enormous. It’s totally different from country to country.”
“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 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,” he said.
Schafter also spoke of some of VW’s problems with rolling out self-driving vehicles. “It’s the legislation, the camera systems, the chips, the energy consumption and the speed of calculation. The car will be the biggest data collection device there is. It’s really complex.”
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