TechCrunch reports that German top automobile producer Audi has set up an Automated Driving Development R&D division in the USA’s technology Mecca, San-Jose, to help launch self-driving cars in the US in collaboration with local startups.
Audi to work on autopilot cars in the US
The new R&D Audi office will be working on improving Level 2 systems, a title provided by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE).
These automated driving systems will still allow a human driver to take over at any time.
The SAE has introduced five levels of automated driving systems. Audi used to work with different levels but has decided to focus on Level 2 systems exclusively.
These automated driving systems are used in passenger vehicles and Audi’s office in San Jose will work to create advanced computer software and hardware for driver assistance systems, targeting the US market in particular.
Audi has also been collaborating with Car.Software (a Volkswagen Group subsidiary) on automated driving tech.
Tesla’s lethal incidents with autopilot
Last year in the US, a crash involving a Tesla Model 3 and a truck occurred when a car was operating on Autopilot. The person behind the wheel died. Another driver of a Tesla self-driving vehicle died back in 2016 after a similar accident.
For legislative and security reasons, the development of the automated driving industry in the US and around the world is moving more slowly than tech giants perhaps would like.
Additionally, many fear that wide implementation of self-driving cars will eventually cut millions of jobs around the world in the ride-hailing industry and in the transportation of goods where automobiles are involved.