Major OEMs invest further in autonomous driving

30 August 2018

30 August 2018

Volkswagen Group (VW) has bought a stake in autonomous driving development company FDTech, contributing to a growing trend among OEMs of investing in automated driving solutions.

FDTech develops algorithms for software that allows for automated and autonomous driving and focusses on practical measures that could be easily put into mass-production.

Karsten Schulze, Managing Director of FDTech, says: ′Our mission is to make automated, networked mobility available to everyone. The participation of Volkswagen will assist us in realizing our ambitious growth plans.’

VW tested an automated airport parking solution in May 2018, after discovering Germans spend 41 hours a year looking for a parking space, with the British wasting 44 hours and residents of New York 107 hours a year.

Friedrich Eichler, Head of Chassis Development of the VW brand, says: ′We are working flat out to integrate highly automated driving in the next generation of VW cars. Through our participation in FDTech, we have gained further essential expertise.’

The manufacturer has previously committed to investing in the future of mobility and recently unveiled a car-sharing service. It was at this launch that Michael Jost, the VW brand’s strategy chief, said VW needed to ′reinvent the automobile.’

Daimler’s city solution

Meanwhile, Daimler is working with the German Government and other leading German companies on the @CITY project, which aims to overcome the challenges of automated driving in urban traffic.

The project looks at vehicle-to-vehicle interaction; human-vehicle interaction; how automated vehicles should respond to changes in the environment; and many other factors that impact urban automation.

@CITY, which kicked-off in July 2018, receives $45 million (€39 million) from the German Government which is investing in the urban mobility of the future. However, the project has the potential to have wider-reaching implications.

Ulrich Kressel, Project Coordinator of @CITY and responsible for pattern recognition at Daimler AG., said: ′We see the potential to further reduce the number of accidents in towns and cities while at the same time making considerably more efficient use of the existing transport infrastructure.

′In addition, we are laying the foundations to enable all road users to enjoy a high degree of individual mobility in an age of demographic change and increasing urbanisation.’

Daimler also partnered with technology company Baidu to drive strategic applications of autonomous driving.