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Volkswagen to Launch Self-Driving Vehicles in Tesla by 2026

Updated: Jan 5

German automaker Volkswagen plans autonomous vehicle debut in Austin, Texas, partnering with Mobileye for scale and cost benefits.

Credits: REUTERS

Volkswagen revealed its strategy to introduce autonomous vehicles for ride hailing and goods delivery services in Austin, Texas by 2026.

This move follows the automaker's previous investment in Ford's now defunct self-driving car unit, Argo, marking a strategic shift with the collaboration of supplier Mobileye.

To kickstart the initiative, Volkswagen intends to conduct tests in Austin this year using 10 ID Buzz electric vehicles retrofitted with Mobileye's autonomous driving platform. These tests will involve safety drivers on board and will be limited to specific areas of downtown Austin. Additionally, Volkswagen has acquired almost 100 personnel from Argo, along with its Austin-based hub where autonomous vehicle testing took place.

By utilizing Mobileye's supply base and map data, Volkswagen aims to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs. Christian Senger, the Volkswagen board member overseeing autonomous driving development, expressed the goal of bringing fully autonomous vehicles to the market as a commercial and scalable product.

Volkswagen joins the ranks of GM's Cruise and Alphabet's Waymo in testing autonomous vehicles in Austin, Texas, known for its accommodating regulations concerning self-driving cars. Katrin Lohmann, President of Volkswagen ADMT, confirmed that the company is actively exploring opportunities in various cities.

While companies have invested billions of dollars in developing autonomous technology for enhanced road safety, several players, including Tesla, Cruise and Waymo, have faced challenges in meeting their launch targets and handling unforeseen driving situations.

  • Volkswagen plans to launch self-driving vehicles in Austin, Texas by 2026 for ride hailing and delivery services.

  • The automaker partners with Mobileye for scale and cost advantages.

  • Tests will be conducted this year using retrofitted ID Buzz electric vehicles in limited areas of downtown Austin.

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