Volkswagen and Bosch have teamed together to create software for self-driving cars.

Volkswagen and Bosch, two German behemoths, have chosen to join forces to create autonomous driving features of levels 2 and 3 in the medium term, and eventually level 4 in the long run.

Volkswagen and Bosch have teamed together to create software for self-driving cars.
Image: Volkswagen / Bosch

Volkswagen and Bosch announced their alliance on Tuesday morning, with the goal of creating autonomous driving capabilities that can be used in all types of cars. According to the two firms, the latter must enable drivers to "momentarily take their hands off the steering wheel." The German automaker Volkswagen will bring its cooperation with Bosch to life via its subsidiary software Cariad.

Autonomous driving for all sorts of cars should be made more accessible.

Bosch and Volkswagen have no plans to target a small market. No, the results of the partnership between the two automakers will benefit all cars sold under the Wolfsburg brand. It will be necessary to build autonomous level 2 and level 3 features as a first step.

In the city, the countryside, and on the highway, autonomous Level 2 systems will enable the driver to momentarily remove his hands from the steering wheel. Level 3 vehicles will provide the driver with full highway autonomy. Remember that the driver may reclaim control of his car at any moment at this level, but can assign acceleration, braking, steering, and monitoring to the latter.

Cariad and Bosch will collaborate to create a cutting-edge standardized software platform that will help democratize autonomous features that are now only available in high-end cars, while yet allowing the driver to restore control at any point (accuracy is critical). "With Cariad, we will now speed the market launch of partly and highly automated driving capabilities on all vehicle classes, making them accessible to everyone," says Markus Heyn, a Bosch Board of Directors member.

"Automated driving is the key to our industry's future," says Dirk Hilgenberg, President and CEO of Cariad. More than 1,000 combined specialists will work on this future autonomous software, according to the two partners.

As a result, both partners are banking on the debut of their autonomous features to create a massive library of real-time data. This data will come from one of the world's biggest fleets of automobiles, allowing the driver to begin exploring Level 4, which allows the driver to simply let himself be driven and let the car roll in the event of a problem. The "fully automated" era has arrived. "Every kilometer driven under actual traffic situations, analyzed and handled properly," the two partners continue, "means a greater pool of data and a better basis from which we will be able to develop even higher levels of autonomous driving, and safely and reliably replicate them on the roads."

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OEMs Bosch, for one, does not rule out the possibility of extending its software platform to additional automotive clients in the future.

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