Car giant Volkswagen and parts supplier Bosch have embarked on an "extensive partnership" to bring automated driving to the mass market by next year, the German companies said on Tuesday.
Bosch and VW software subsidiary Cariad are aiming to "make functions available that will allow drivers to temporarily take their hands off the steering wheel" in vehicles sold under the Volkswagen Group brand, according to a statement.
These will range from so-called "hands-free" systems for urban and motorway driving to a system that takes over all driving functions on the motorway, the companies said.
The first of these functions are to be installed in 2023.
It will also be possible to integrate the component parts developed by the alliance into vehicles made by other carmakers, they said.
The main focus of the project will be data-driven software development on the basis of information from 360-degree surround sensing.
"With the help of one of the world's biggest connected vehicle fleets, we will gain access to a huge database. This will allow us to take automated driving systems to a new level," said Mathias Pillin, president of Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions.
The project is expected to require the skills of around 1,000 employees and the two companies have already started recruiting new experts to work in the alliance.
Bosch and Volkswagen had already announced a partnership earlier this month to explore the possibility of establishing a European battery equipment solution provider.
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