Volkswagen group goals of self-driving cars on public roads by 2021

The Volkswagen Group will have full autonomy of the vehicles running on the public road by the year 2021, according to the digital signature of the boss.

The prediction is several years ahead of where most experts predicted a public test of autonomous vehicles to begin with, but chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth said that was likely possible because the technology was almost ready and to the authorities of the united states, the Middle East and China are starting to push through legislation that allows it.

“The united States has indicated this month that it wants at the national level autonomous tests to begin, and we expect the legislation to pass sometime in the next year,” said Jungwirth, speaking at a VW Group event ahead of the Frankfurt motor show. “We must be ready with Tier 5 vehicles at the end of 2021.

“I imagine that testing will begin in two to five different cities, in the first place, but the goal will be that the cars on test runs in almost all types of conditions daily, door-to-door, where the passengers want them. The only drawback will be in scenarios such as a snow storm, where the sensors do not work.

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“If that happens, then the car will stop and a car and the driver will be alerted to pick up passengers. In that sense, it is not going to be different to have a mechanical problem or maybe a prick today.”

Jungwirth also warned that Europe risked being left behind as a centre of excellence for autonomous vehicle testing, if it continued to impose tighter legislation. “There are already countries around the world moving ahead of us – Europe must act to maintain,” he said.

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The first fully autonomous cars will be operated by the Volkswagen Group, pointing to the fact that the company believes that it may have to operate fleets in the future, the recruitment and short-term leasing of cars to the customers instead of the long-term lease or sale of them. It is not clear whether the first vehicle is based on the Sedric concept or a new car, possibly made by VW the brand new mobility Moia.

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