With the know-how of more than 100 specialists from Intenta’s sensor data fusion division, Cariad wants to increase its depth of added value and at the same time accelerate the development of assisted and automated driving functions. Cariad develops these up to level 4 for all car brands of the VW Group – including Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen.
The fusion of the various data received in the car – be it from the lidar and radar sensors, cameras, navigation or in-cabin monitoring with passenger observation – plays a central role for automated driving functions. Only by combining and overlaying all this data can an accurate and consistent image of the environment be created. This enables the vehicle to recognise objects in its environment, interpret their movements and thus move safely and automatically in its surroundings. Sensor data fusion is thus an important prerequisite for the high safety requirements of assisted and automated driving, where drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel and devote themselves to other pursuits. In addition, Intenta’s automotive developers have expertise in the development of swarm services and display functions.
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“Our goal is to develop important software components ourselves and to increase the depth of value added in key development areas,” says Lynn Longo, CTO of Cariad. “Therefore, we are expanding our know-how along the entire tech stack for automated driving. One building block here is sensor data fusion. With the acquisition of Intenta’s automotive unit as a proven specialist in this field, we are expanding our competencies.”
Cariad already made an acquisition in the development field of automated driving last year, taking over the camera software division of Hella Aglaia. In addition, Cariad has already collaborated with Bosch and the US company Argo AI in the development of sensor systems and algorithms for self-driving cars. Cariad management now sees the acquisition of Intenta’s automotive unit as the next step in this direction. The takeover is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022 and is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities; Cariad did not disclose a price for the takeover.
Cariad says it is pursuing the goal of massively increasing its vertical value creation in software and hardware development in the coming years through the recruitment of experts, acquisitions and strategic partnerships. In this way, the company wants to retain control over the customer experience in the software-controlled car and help shape it. By the middle of the decade, the company wants to develop a large part of the software in strategic areas of software and hardware architecture, the operating system, the cloud, automated driving or infotainment in-house. However, critical voices can be heard attributing a lack of focus in the development of autonomous systems to Volkswagen with its software subsidiary Cariad.