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Electric cars to become the ‘biggest data collection device’ by 2030 when self-driving will be common, says VW CEO

While The former Volkswagen CEO believed that self-driving needs level 3 radar equipmentContrary to Elon Musk’s view that it can only be done with Tesla Vision cameras, his successor now says that autonomous Volkswagens will be commonplace in 2030. Thomas Schaffer sat down for an interview and added that the company’s expensive test vehicles are currently scouring the streets of Munich and Hamburg and by 2025 there will be a commercial, autonomous fleet of VW ID Buzz electric cars there.

However, the proof of concept won’t come easily, VW’s CEO warned. While it didn’t become clear whether the company’s self-driving technology relies on LiDAR in addition to cameras,cost of the [testing] car is still unaffordable because so few are producedsaid Mr. Schafer. He wants Volkswagen to have an early lead in autonomous driving because the regulatory hurdles are huge. A carmaker has to show that its system is superior to humans, and the legislation differs dramatically from country to country, so a new entrant will have a hard time getting through all the moves to compete with more established solutions.

In the meantime, all that computational power required to provide the complex calculations of the raw input coming from its sensory aides will turn electric cars into “the largest data collection device availableWhile that may sound scary to the privacy-conscious, Germany also has one of the strictest security safeguards, which is one of the reasons why the laws surrounding autonomous driving are so complicated to navigate:

You have to focus on it and that’s why we push so hard in the resume [Commercial Vehicles] divisive, because once it happens, profit pools and opportunities arise. I wouldn’t say the winner takes it all, but it’s a game you need to get into early. You can’t wait and then fast-forward, which is why we’re fully focused on it.

In 2020, VW invested $2.6 billion in the Argo AI startup, founded by Google’s ex-head of hardware for autonomous driving systems. However, Argo’s pie-in-the-sky development of Level 4/5 self-driving solutions failed to serve longtime automaker investors, who need faster time-to-market, albeit at a lower level of autonomy. That’s why Argo was subsequently dissolved between backers like Ford and VW, while the German automaker brought self-driving technology development in-house to its software subsidiary Cariad.

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Volkswagen is one of Tesla’s main competitors and some analysts predict it will surpass Elon Musk’s company in market share as early as 2024. Therefore, VW cannot afford to lose the autonomous driving race to Tesla and it will be interesting to see what its solution can do once it goes commercial. available.

Volkswagen said earlier that it was betting on one pay-as-you-go system where the self-driving service is charged only when needed and usedrather than Tesla’s subscription or direct sales, so it remains to be seen whose payment model will prove more popular.

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