VW Stumps for Self-Driving-Car Alliance

September 14, 2018 at 9:37 AM

Volkswagen AG is working to form an industry alliance to help reduce costs and share liability risks for self-driving vehicles, Automotive News reports.

VW is talking with more than 15 potential partners, including rival carmakers, about the plan, an unnamed VW executive tells the newspaper. The person says VW’s management board may begin evaluating proposals as early as next month.

Among the goals of an alliance would be to develop technical standards, create open-source software platforms and commonize parts such as sensors.

Such cooperation would enable partners to use comparable validation processes and help reduce liability risks in the case of a crash involving an autonomous vehicle. “You have a better chance in court when you can prove that your car adheres to the latest technical standard," the VW source reasons.

The VW official concedes that creating a consortium for self-driving vehicles will be more challenging than forming European industry groups for high-resolution digital maps (Here) and rapid charging stations (Ionity) for electric vehicle batteries.

But such a partnership is deemed critical to reduce the potential for accidents and corresponding lawsuits, the VW executive says, citing the fallout stemming from the self-driving Uber test car that struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year.