Audi to Lead Volkswagen’s Autonomous Push

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Audi to Lead Volkswagen’s Autonomous Push

Audi is officially taking the lead in the Volkswagen Group’s efforts to develop autonomous cars, the Ingolstadt company revealed today in a release.

The release follows Audi’s Annual General Meeting, at which the company outlined its plans for the future.

In March, Audi created Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH, a subsidiary tasked with solving autonomous driving in urban areas.

The German automaker also announced yesterday that it would be the first automaker to test a driverless car in the State of New York. That will complement its work with German businesses and government organizations to create a common lexicon for autonomy.

The company also expects to be the first to bring a “truly” autonomous vehicle to the market when the new A8 launches on July 11. That car will feature level 3 autonomy, allowing drivers to take their focus off the road during specific circumstances.

SEE ALSO: Audi Plans to Launch Self-Driving Car by 2020

“We are financing our transformation out of our own resources,” said Axel Strotbek, member of the board of management for finance and IT. “Our business operations are robust also in the currently challenging situation. On the side of expenditure and investment, our ‘Speed up!’ program is helping us to achieve a high level of efficiency and thus a maximum focus on the topics of the future.”

Those “topics of the future” also include electrification. As with the rest of VW, Audi is expecting a big change in its propulsion options by 2025, claiming that 30 percent of its vehicles will offer either full or partial electric drive by then.

To help it in its mission, Audi is working closely with Porsche to develop a premium electric chassis for shared use. It’s also planning to release three e-tron vehicles by 2020, the nearest to completion being the “e-tron” electric SUV.

Two other new SUVs are set to join the Q line, as well: the Q8, a premium SUV, and the Q4, a sporty SUV.

“We are rejuvenating our model portfolio enormously and will renew five existing core model series by mid-2018,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management.

A version of this story originally appeared on Fourtitude

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  • Perry F. Bruns

    They did have a semi-autonomous model in the 1980s: the 5000.