Auto IQ weekly news update, including Audi, VW, QuantumScape, and Arrival
Automotive Safety and Security Online is coming up soon. Now a single-day event, on June 30, to make it easier to attend live, we have a new interview with Continental’s Catalin-Stefan Ionescu. He will speak at the event, and our Q&A lets you learn more about his work and autonomous vehicle testing safety, and gives a sneak preview of his talk.
Our latest Top Five takes a look at some of the most significant global EV Platforms beginning to roll out. From the VW MEB to Hyundai-Kia’s E-GMP, we profile the specs and details of platforms that represent a combined investment of over $160bn.
Here’s a couple of other stories that caught our eye:
Audi opens Silicon Valley ADAS R&D center
Audi has announced the opening of a new automated driving development office in San Jose. Called A2D2, the office is currently hiring up to 60 engineers to work on artificial intelligence, software development, and Silicon Valley startup collaborations.
The Center is focused primarily on ADAS solutions for the North American market, as Audi believes this leads the world in its demand for Level 2-3 driver assistance and autonomous systems. A2D2 has its own fleet of Audi Q7 SUVs liveried with QR codes so onlookers can scan them and be sent to a website for updates on the project’s progress.
The Q7 fleet will be used to gather data for the development of “various cloud-based automated driver-assistance functions planned for introduction by 2023.”
VW increases its investment in solid-state battery developer QuantumScape
Meanwhile, the main Volkswagen Group has just announced a new, additional investment of $200m in US battery specialist QuantumScape. The latter firm is developing next-generation solid-state batteries, and the VW Group is the largest automotive shareholder in the firm, having previously invested $100m.
The two firms have been in collaboration since 2012, and formalized the solid-state battery joint venture in 2018 that would enable industrial-level production of solid-state batteries for Volkswagen. The batteries in development are the same size as current lithium-ion packs, but with much shorter charging times, while they also offer a range comparable with conventional ICE vehicles.
As part of the new deal, both firms confirmed that they would build a pilot factory to help scale up production.
Arrival builds a bus
Arrival has announced the arrival of its new zero-emissions bus. The Arrival Bus is currently in development, and, while details are currently under wraps, aside from images of the screen-filled vehicle and its similar aesthetic to its previously announced Van, the firm claims the Bus will cost a similar amount to a conventional ICE vehicle, but with much lower running costs over its lifetime.
Part of Arrival’s model is to build local Microfactories – 1,000 are planned globally by 2026 – that allow for local adaptations to products, while promising to keep costs down. The firm has also confirmed it is working on developing cars for sharing, taxis, buses, delivery robots, and charging stations.
The Arrival Bus follows the announcement of the Arrival Van, which helped the UK-based firm attract €100m in investment from Hyundai-Kia to use its EV skateboard chassis for a new PDV, and an order for 10,000 vans from UPS in a deal worth $400m.