While numerous automakers are trying to get their hands on self-driving technology, Audi seems to have taken the lead at the Volkswagen Group.

About a year and a half ago, Audi spun off a start-up called AID (Autonomous Intelligent Driving). This same company has now been deployed to work with every aspect of future self-driving technology that includes software, hardware, maps, calibration and more for the Volkswagen Group.

AID CEO Karlheinz Wurm

Karlheinz Wurm

AID CEO Karlheinz Wurm who is expected to lead the team has previously provided his services to Microsoft subsidiary Skype. He played a major role in making video calls available to anyone with internet access in his previous position. After serving the company for close to 12 years, Wurm has now decided to take the helm at AID with an aim to bring autonomous driving tech to the masses much as he did with video calls.

The company aims to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to the market by 2021, which falls in line with goals of several other automakers. General Motors, for instance, stated that it will be deploying its own fleet of self-driving cars as a part of a ride-hailing service in 2019. Similarly, Google subsidiary Waymo launched the industry’s first paid ride-sharing service earlier this December to selected drivers on a limited basis.

Audi e-tron in UAE

The company aims to bring a fully autonomous vehicle into the market by 2021, which falls in line with goals of several other automakers

It’s still a long way before this self-driving tech makes its way into passenger vehicles. This is in light of stringent norms and regulations by the government authorities that must be overcome to ensure a level deployment.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen had joined Baidu’s self-driving car program and claimed that it would launch a ride-sharing service in Israel by 2022. Reports suggest that the company had also tried to purchase Aurora, a popular autonomous vehicle startup. With AID, the German automaker has now made its own promises and moves to play catch-up in the industry.