Adding Audi: German Automakers Update Autonomous Alliance
With BMW and Daimler already getting cosy via their autonomous vehicle partnership, the duo plans on bringing self-driving ( SAE Level 4) tech to the masses by 2024. While other automakers have promised more advanced autonomy on a shorter timeline, the reality of the situation is that true self-driving capabilities are proving difficult and expensive to produce. By partnering up, the Germans believe they can continue their quest while sharing the financial burden of development.
The more the merrier, apparently. According to Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche, Audi will be the next guest to arrive at the party. Daimler and BMW’s previous release stipulated that the pair would focus on the joint development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways, and automated parking — with the goal of seeing those technologies adapted for passenger vehicles by 2024.
Audi’s official announcement isn’t expected to come until September, likely taking place at the IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt. Wirtschaftswoche notes that, because none of the automakers have let anything slip via the typical channels, that could be subject to change. It also noted that Volkswagen’s alliance with Ford will remain intact.
While that could be due to Audi’s premium nature being more in line with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Ford and VW are also working on fully (SAE Level 5) autonomous vehicles. Rumors have gone so far as to suggest that some of their commercial prototypes don’t even have a steering wheel.
Expect more details on how Audi’s involvement will change the makeup of the partnership next month. The deal currently utilizes over 1,200 specialists broken into small teams. The mixed groups operate collaboratively at several locations, including the Mercedes-Benz Technology Centre (MTC) in Sindelfingen, the Daimler Testing and Technology Centre in Immendingen, and the BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim.
In July, Daimler reported that members are currently focused on “developing a scalable architecture for driver assistance systems, including sensors, as well as a joint data centre for data storage, administration and processing, and the development of functions and software.”
[Image: Volkswagen Group]
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- EBFlex "I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles"Assuming you went from 0 gallons to full (17.2), you have averaged almost 50MPG over those 2500 miles. 50 MPG in a Jeep Wrangler. To all of you EV nut jobs, tell me again how PHEVs are not the absolute best thing to happen to automobiles since the wheel. And tell me how they don't make EVs look like the awful play toys that they are.
- MRF 95 T-Bird The Buick 215/3.5-liter aluminum V8 was one of GMs great engines. Unfortunately GM being GM in one of their greatest mistakes was selling off the tooling to BL. If they kept it around and improved upon it it would have been a fine motor for their compacts and midsize models through the OPEC oil crisis.
- Chris P Bacon Not sure why a '21 is getting reviewed, because there have been improvements to the 4xe. I've got a '22 4xe Sahara. May 2022 build in High-Velocity yellow with a soft top. As soon as it was announced I knew I wanted to try it, not for the fuel mileage, but for the technology. I don't have a Level 2 charger, it charges fully overnight on the included Level 1. I see an indicated range of 27 miles regularly. Today it indicated 29 when I unplugged. I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles, a full charge costs me about $3 based on my current electricity supplier. I don't experience the rough transitions between electric and gas, so maybe Jeep figured it out? It's stupid fast when using all the power off the line. So much so that it will break the rear wheels loose when you stomp on it. I agree that plugin hybrids are the future. I see no need for a pure electric. This is the way to go.
- RHD The word B R O N C O written in contrasting paint on the dashboard is quite unnecessary. The passenger certainly knows what kind of vehicle he or she is in. That detail is a big fail. The red and white Bronco looks great, especially with tires that have honest-to-goodness sidewalls on them.
- Luke42 Aren't those trim levels just different colors of paint?That's what they sound like, at least. 🤷♂️