Volkswagen Invests in Self-Driving Start-Up
If you ask anybody even remotely familiar with the automotive industry what the two most prevalent modern market trends are, they’re almost certain to mention EVs and self-driving cars. While it’s no secret that the EV segment is growing by the day — and that Volkswagen is looking to make a big splash in the next few years — the future of self-driving vehicles is more distant and a bit less determinant.
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However, according to a recent report by CNBC, VW’s parent company decided to invest in a Silicon Valley start-up called Aeva, and it could put the brand at the forefront of autonomous driving technology.
Aeva was founded in 2016 by former Apple engineers Mina Rezk and Soroush Salehian, the latter of whom also worked for NASA and earned a spot on the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Aeva’s most recent claim to fame is a chipset that gathers, compiles, and analyzes traffic and movement data in real-time — all for $500 per unit.
A price point that low would give Volkswagen a significant cost advantage over its competitors, especially when you consider that the other major players in the market are companies like Apple and (Google parent company) Alphabet — businesses that aren’t known to let go of money when they can help it.
Even though details are still scarce at this point, the CNBC report mentions that Volkswagen is most likely looking to use Aeva’s technology on the ID Buzz — an all-electric reimagining of the iconic VW Bus. Who knows when we’ll see the fruits of this particular labor, but the idea of sharing the road with a completely carbon-neutral, fully autonomous VW hippy mobile is enticing, to say the least.
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