The Volkswagen Group has announced a strategic partnership with technology company Aurora to bring self-driving electric vehicles to cities as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) fleets.
Prior to its announcement at CES, the group had 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.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) at Stanford University have worked with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as Machine Learning and AI technology in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms.
Johann Jungwirth, chief digital officer at Volkswagen Group, 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."
Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora, added: “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.”