Audi has opened an office in Silicon Valley to adapt and develop advanced driver assistance systems for the US market.
The research and development office of Audi Automated Driving Development (A2D2) is located in San Jose and initially employs around 60 people. The company said A2D2 would "have the flexibility to quickly develop new software and work with nearby startups for production-related applications."
This new research and development office focuses on the further development of so-called level 2 systems. a designation of the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) in which two main functions are automated and a human driver is still up to date. According to the definition of SAE, there are five levels of automation. Level 4 means that the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving under certain conditions without human intervention. Companies like Argo AI, Aurora, Cruise and Waymo are working on this. Level 5, commonly considered a distant target, would handle driving in all environments and conditions.
The focus on level 2 is an important distinction. Audi had developed an automated Level 3 system called Traffic Jam Pilot, which was supposed to be the latest generation of the A8, which debuted in 2017. After numerous delays, Audi decided to do so in May Scrap plans to introduce the automated Level 3 driving system. Traffic Jam Pilot theoretically enables the vehicle to drive independently without the human driver keeping an eye on the road. But it was never used commercially.
The company told theinformationsuperhighway back in May that the lack of a legal framework raised concerns about liability. To further complicate the problem, the A8 has gone through its generation lifecycle. Audi was faced with continuing to put money into the feature to customize it without promising that a frame would be developed further.
Audi has now turned its attention and capital to advanced driver assistance systems that can actually be introduced in passenger cars. A2D2 will be the first office to develop ADAS hardware and software specifically for North American roads and driving behavior.
"With the rapid advancement of driver assistance technologies in North America, it is important to be part of the latest breakthroughs, work with leading technology startups, and attract top talent," said Frank Grosshauser, senior director of ADAS, Audi of America.
The A2D2 office is of enormous importance for the further development of the systems here in the USA in the meantime, not only with regard to assisted driving, but to all different sensors and systems and how they can be brought together to provide the driving experience and the Further improving security and using it for our customers in the not too distant future, wrote an Audi spokesman in an email.
The A2D2 office has equipped several Audi Q7 development vehicles with roof-mounted sensor kits to collect data for the development of various cloud-based automated driver assistance functions that are to be introduced by 2023. The A2D2 development vehicles are integrated in a QR code that points to a website where users can be informed about the progress of Audi.
Audi is also working with Car.Software, a newly founded Volkswagen group, on automated driving technology. All brands of the Volkswagen Group have concentrated their activities for automated driving development on this unit, according to the company.