Audi is joining others like Daimler in focusing future investment on emerging tech categories like electric vehicles and self-origin cars, according to CEO Rupert Stadler. Speaking to German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung (via Reuters) this past weekend, Stadler said that in addition to targeting up to 30 percent electric vehicle sales for Audi overall by 2025, the company is going to create a subsidiary devoted to developing autonomous driving tech called SDS Company.
Audi’s electric car plans include the introduction of three models to be introduced by 2020, Stadler says, with a significant shift in resources re-allocated to improving the company’s electric pipeline. part of the electric lineup will be A-series smaller vehicles, but gas-powered compacts like the two-door A3 might get the axe to free up spending for future-focused projects instead.
As for its driverless ambitions, Stadler tells the paper that “this is about a robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals, so it’s ideal for urban traffic,” but adds that Audi is still looking for its dance partner when it comes to developing the necessary tech. We’ve seen a lot of car companies pairing up with carriers, software-makers and other tech-specialists in developing their advanced car roadmap, and Audi seems to want to lean on someone with more expertise, too.
Audi is already working on self-driving tech, even without a dedicated subsidiary to do so: Its piloted driving project recently made headlines for including subtle, human-like cues to other drivers of its intent to change lanes, by drifting towards lane markers prior to initiating a merge.