Volkswagen CEO says company ready to design chips for autonomous vehicles


Volkswagen is ready to design and develop its high-powered chips for autonomous vehicles (AV) with the required software said chief executive officer Herbert Diess as reported by a German newspaper. “To achieve optimal performance in light of the high demands that exist for cars, software and hardware have to come out of one hand,” said Diess as per the report.

(Also read: Volkswagen’s CEO to step aside at Skoda, Seat – source)

The CEO also said that it didn’t plan to build semiconductors, but wanted to own patents if possible. According to the newspaper’s report, he also added that the company’s software unit Cariad will establish the expertise and also expand. This decision comes in response to Tesla’s integrated custom-designed chips which allows it to develop new features faster than its competitors. “Apple and Tesla have higher competence in terms of how semiconductors are defined,” the CEO said.

Last month, while speaking at VW’s Power Day event, Diess did mention the company’s goal to beat Tesla Inc. to become the world’s largest electric vehicle maker. It has also been reported that the carmaker is planning to build six battery factories with an annual capacity of 240-gigawatt hours (GWh) over the next decade across Europe by the year 2030. It is also planning to make investments into technologies to unify the design of its battery and the recycling of precious metals.

The German carmaker wants to cut by half the price of a low-end “entry-level” car and to do so it will use lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathodes. This relatively dated battery chemistry was almost destined to be superseded by more energy-efficient combinations but major technical improvements in it have seen a resurgence in its usage, led again by Tesla, which has been installing it in its Chinese Model 3 sedans and Volkswagen plans to do the same.