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Audi Gets Serious About Self-Driving

Key Takeaways

  • Audi partners with Applied Intuition for cost-efficient autonomous driving development worldwide.
  • Audi returns to AD technology focus after reportedly dropping Project Artemis; building in-house makes no sense.
  • Potential widespread AD benefits must outweigh risks with all new systems.

Applied Intuition, a Silicon Valley software supplier, and Audi have joined forces to develop automated driving solutions for the German automaker. The partnership will cover all facets of development from validation all the way to deployment, and the software company says it aims to set a new benchmark for the “fast, robust, and cost-efficient validation and release of automated driving (AD) functions.”

“The expertise of both Applied Intuition and Audi creates a mutual benefit to deliver high-quality automated functions across the globe. In compliance with AD regulations, Applied Intuition’s solution allows us to highly automate our scenario-based, data-driven engineering workflows and adapt jointly developed applications as white-box solutions for the overall management of high-performance, safety-critical AD systems.”

– Dr.-Ing. Gero Kempf, Executive Vice President for ADAS/AD in the Engineering Department at AUDI AG.

Why Are The Two Joining Forces?

Audi has always been at the forefront of technology, pioneering advanced AWD systems and next-generation lighting, but when it comes to automated driving systems, the company has fallen behind the likes of BMW and Mercedes in recent years. Project Artemis was reportedly dropped at the end of 2022 due to Volkswagen Group’s myriad of production issues with the Cariad software. The company’s self-driving initiative proved too resource-intensive and poorly managed to have much success.

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Since those problems have mostly been resolved at this point, the company is eager to jump back on the AD bandwagon. It doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint to try to build their own AD system from the ground up when companies like Applied Intuition can simply give them access to countless hours of testing and advanced software already developed.

The Silicon Valley company’s goal is to rapidly transform companies across the automotive, trucking, construction, and agriculture industries by offering them a streamlined AD process. Companies like Porsche, Toyota, and Nissan already have deals with them, and with each new automaker added, the company’s influence and capability grow as their data sets increase.

Is Rapid Automated Driving System Development A Good Thing?

Head over to Applied Intuition’s website, and you’re greeted with an impressive wealth of aspirational copy about how the company’s solutions are not only great for the world but even better for an automaker’s bottom line. It’s no secret that self-driving technology has the potential to save millions of lives in the future because humans make mistakes and often irresponsible choices that lead to accidents, but the issue recently has been the implementation of software in the field that isn’t ready yet. The most recent example of this was the fatal Ford Mustang Mach-E crash, which ended in the death of an occupant in another vehicle. In that situation, the brand’s Blue Cruise hands-free driving technology was active, yet it was unable to avoid an accident with a stationary car in the middle of the road.

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This was only the most recent incident, with Tesla, Cruise, and Waymo having quite a few stories of their own. It’s evident these systems aren’t ready yet, and the companies are using the public as guinea pigs to improve them over time. “Rapid development” and “self-driving” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. These are people’s lives these companies are playing with for profit, and so any framework put into place by Applied Intuition and Audi must b vetted as extensively as possible before it’s sold in cars.

#Audi #SelfDriving

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