The Volkswagen Group introduced the first production vehicle with Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology when it unveiled the Audi A8 last summer and the company is hoping to build on that success by announcing a new partnership with Aurora Innovation.
While the partnership was just announced, Volkswagen says their specialists have already been working with experts from Aurora to integrate the latter company's autonomous driving technology into Volkswagen Group platforms. VW says these components include sensors, hardware, and software such as Machine Learning and AI (artificial intelligence) technology.
Volkswagen says the partnership aims to provide customers with a best-in-class user experience that focuses on safety, convenience and usability. The company went on to say cities will increasingly need "smart mobility solutions to help solve their traffic, pollution and traffic safety challenges."
While a number of automakers have walked a careful line by assuring drivers they won't be made redundant, Volkswagen Group Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth said the company's goal is "Mobility for all, at the push of a button." Jungwirth says this will enable people who haven't been able to drive - such as children, the elderly, and the visually impaired - to become mobile without having to rely on others.
Jungwirth also hinted customers will eventually be able to use a VW mobility app or a digital virtual assistant to "hail a self-driving electric vehicle to drive them conveniently door-to-door."