The Center of Excellence will be based at the existing Innovation and Engineering Center of Volkswagen Group of America in Belmont, California, just outside San Francisco. It is planned that 50 to 100 experts in systems technology and systems architecture will start work at the Center of Excellence this year. In the U.S., Volkswagen Autonomy will make use of all the Volkswagen Group’s technology partnerships relevant to the project. Autonomy systems are to be brought to market maturity by the middle of the decade.
By establishing the new centre in the Silicon Valley, the carmaker intends to tap into one of the world’s largest talent pools for autonomous technologies and link it to the global orientation of the VW Group, the company explained. The results of the center will be made available to all group brands (including VW, Audi, Porsche and Skoda).
VWAT already runs R&D activities in Wolfsburg and Munich. Another competence center is to be opened in China soon. The then four centers will bundle and coordinate all development work of the Volkswagen Group in the field of autonomous driving.
The company assumes that the first applications for autonomous vehicles will be available in the commercial vehicle sector. Against this background, VWAT will develop appropriate series systems which will then be integrated into commercial vehicles, for example as autonomous taxis or delivery vans in the style of the already presented as a study ID.Buzz and ID.Buzz Cargo with battery electric drive.