Speaking at CES last week in Las Vegas, Volkswagen’s chief continued to try to shift the focus away from its emissions scandal and talk about the future.
Volkswagen still has a future, but what about today?
Despite being embroiled in one of the biggest automobile scandals in history, Volkswagen isn’t just going to go away and recognizes that it has a future and the future means autonomous features on automobiles. That doesn’t mean its emission scandal is going away any time soon. Even prior to Volkswagen’s meeting with federal officials over the scandal this week, yesterday saw a California regulatory agency reject the company’s play to recall vehicles in California.
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“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” said Mary Nichols, head of state environmental regulator California Air Resources Board, or CARB. “They need to make it right. Today’s decision is a step in the direction of assuring that will happen.
Volkswagen’s plans for self-driving cars
Last week the German automaker announced that was entering into a partnership with Mobileye, whose real-time image processing cameras would likely be installed in upcoming Volkswagen models allowing the automaker to build high definition maps that are necessary for self-driving cars.
“The new world will be defined by automated driving, in the future it will be an everyday feature of our life and it will completely change mobility,” Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management, said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
This is not Volkswagen’s first move into high-definition mapping. Daimler, Audi, and BMW agreed in August to purchase Nokia’s mapping division HERE for a bit over $3 billion. What stake each company took and how much money was put up by each was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close early this year.
It’s this mapping technology that will make the basis of self-driving cars and the automakers snatched up HERE in order to keep it out of the hands of Google, Apple or Uber.
Had one of these companies snatched purchased HERE the German automakers would have either had to develop their own mapping solutions or licensed it from one of the tech giants.