Audi’s self-driving leadership threatened by VW Group software shuffle

The software woes afflicting the Volkswagen Group appear to have hit its flagship Artemis self-driving project.

Automotive News Europe reports the project, led by Audi and tasked with delivering Level 4 autonomous driving by 2024, will be scrapped by Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume.

ANE says the project has shown “little progress” on the back of widely-reported software development delays within the software-focused Volkswagen Group division dubbed Cariad.

Reports from earlier in 2022 suggested the project had merely been delayed until 2026.

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Rather than Audi, the Volkswagen Group’s move into the autonomous driving space will now reportedly be led by Volkswagen Commercial with the production version of recent ID Buzz autonomous prototypes.

Announced in 2020, the Artemis project was designed to demonstrate how “unbureaucratically” Audi could bring a new electric vehicle to market, providing a roadmap for the broader Volkswagen Group to follow in the process.

It has since developed into an autonomous technology leader for the Group.

A new roadmap for software within the Volkswagen Group will be presented to the board on December 15, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The board reportedly has been pushing management for an updated plan since mid-2022, but the departure of ex-CEO Herbert Diess has delayed the process.

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Under the plan coming later this month, Automotive News Europe reports mainstream Volkswagen Group products will still use a platform known as 1.1, while the likes of Audi and Porsche will rely on a platform dubbed Software Premium from late in the current decade.

A shuffle is reportedly coming to the range of electric platforms in development by the Group as well.

A new platform dubbed SSP61 will reportedly be developed by Porsche, and will underpin the next-generation Panamera, the preciously announced SUV to sit above the Cayenne, along with the Audi Artemis project.

SSP61 will be a sportier interpretation of the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) announced in July 2021, with the promise of becoming “one unified architecture for the whole product portfolio” in the Volkswagen Group from 2026 onwards.

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Artemis isn’t the only Volkswagen Group product facing challenges on the back of issues at Cariad.

The new Audi Q6 e-tron and Porsche Macan EV have both been delayed, reportedly due to Cariad. The pair were meant to debut late in 2022, but are now expected to hit the road during 2023.

The ID. range of electric vehicles was plagued with software issues at launch, while deliveries of the latest Golf were held up after launch in Europe as Volkswagen worked to resolve issues with software that enables emergency calls.

When production first started, there were issues with over-the-air software updates that led to Volkswagen delaying the car’s launch.

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