Volkswagen will design its own chips for self-driving cars

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Last week Volkswagen showcased its latest vehicle in the form of the new ID.4 GTX in Berlin as the company’s range of electric vehicles continues to grow. Looking at the next evolution of the brand, we now have a bit more insight into VW’s self-driving car plans.

This as Volkswagen chief executive, Herbert Diess, told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the carmaker intends to design the silicon for its autonomous vehicles in house, borrowing the same strategy as two tech-focused companies.

“To achieve optimal performance in light of the high demands that exist for cars, software and hardware have to come out of one hand,” he told the publication.

Interestingly, the goal here is not to manufacture its own chips though, as Autoblog notes that this is an area that carmakers have struggled with in terms of supply, given that almost every industry has a demand for semiconductors at the moment.

The site goes on to highlight that the bigger move here is to take on the likes of Tesla, which is currently capable integrating custom designed chips, giving it a distinct advantage when it comes to the speed at which it can roll out new technologies.

“Apple and Tesla have higher competence in terms of how semiconductors are defined,” added Diess.

This move would follow a similar one that Mercedes-Benz announced recently, tapping up Nvidia to be its partner in terms of developing and equipping the chips and software platform for the Stuttgart-based company’s next generation of intelligent vehicles.

In terms of its own software platform, Microsoft is handling that for VW.

As for when we could see Volkswagen venture further into the field of self-driving cars remains to be seen, especially as the company is particularly interested in electrification at the moment, as are a number of carmakers.

When it is ready to venture, however, there will likely be a lot of work to do, as autonomous vehicles still remain a divisive technology, and one where responsibility is still not clearly defined.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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