Audi’s Artemis project ignites turbo for future developments

Audi’s Artemis project ignites turbo for future developments

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The Artemis unit is intended to develop a groundbreaking new car model for Audi quickly and without bureaucracy. The head of the project is Axel Hitzinger, who was previously responsible for the development of autonomous driving at Audi’s Group level; previously, Hitzinger had earned a reputation as a design engineer in motor sports. The project is located at the highest strategic level – the team has access to the resources and technologies of the entire Volkswagen Group.

The project team will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally distributed from the high-tech hub INCampus at the Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt to the West Coast of the USA. Digital services will be provided by the Group’s own, which is also based in Ingolstadt. The focus of “Artemis” will be on new technologies for electric, highly automated driving aiming at devising concrete, real-world vehicles) as opposed to basis technologies). The first order is a highly efficient electric car scheduled to hit the road as early as 2024. The Artemis team will also create a comprehensive ecosystem around the car and thus design a new business model for the entire usage phase.

Audi is not issuing any concrete information as to whether the new electric car should be based on the technology of existing Audi vehicles, but industry observers assume that the focus will be on the electric drive and a digital, value-adding ecosystem rather than fully automated driving at Level 4 or even Level 5. The development of cars that can also drive fully autonomously has given way at Audi, as with many established OEMs, to the realization that L5 autonomy in urban areas will rather be something for specialized driving services (robo-taxis) than an additional capability of “normal” cars. In this vehicle category, highly sophisticated driver assistance systems are primarily developed to relieve the driver of routine tasks, such as in traffic jams or on long, monotonous routes. On the other hand, the development of a digital, data-based ecosystem is expected to play an important role in the Artemis team’s activities. One indication of this lies in Hitzinger’s past: The new boss was involved a few years ago in Apple’s Titan project for an autonomous, comprehensively networked vehicle.

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