While major automakers around the world are relentlessly putting efforts to be a part of the bandwagon of electric and autonomous vehicles, old-timers and their rivals have planned partnerships to speed up the development.
Talks of a possible partnership between Volkswagen and its US-based rival Ford have been in the air since a while now, and now the former has officially confirmed that the partnership will aim at developing autonomous driving and mobility services.
Various automakers are teaming up with each other to develop autonomous driving tech faster.
In June, both the companies had hinted a possible partnership that included the development of commercial vehicles, which was later expected to be expanded to include electric and autonomous cars as part of an alliance designed to save billions in costs.
“We are in constructive talks about taking a stake in Argo, the Ford division for autonomous driving. A joint company for offering mobility as a service is also a possibility,” Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles chief executive Thomas Sedran said on Thursday.
Back in 2017, Ford bought Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup. However, with sky-high development costs for autonomous cars in recent years, the company and other carmakers have now sought alliances and outside investors.
The German automaker stated that it had signed a contract with Ford with an aim to develop a successor to its Amarok pickup truck. The American manufacturer could utilise the platform that the current its current midsized pickup truck Ranger is based on, this could help VW cut down development costs.
Volkswagen recently announced a partnership with Swedish battery maker Northvolt and other companies to develop batteries for future electric vehicles.
In the past few years as autonomous driving development has gained momentum a parallel problem running along is the security of the AI. With the advent of such technologies, eyeing high scale and high speed, automakers are now preferring off-the-shelf coding to save time and effort. These complex codes are causing vehicles to bloat, increasing the surface for the hackers to operate on.
The threat, as we see, is rooted in the underlying challenge where numerous functions in the car rely heavily on software today, calling for additional lines of unnecessary code. Hence, cutting out the excess and ensuring the software is as lean as possible, would be a viable solution for the automotive industry.