From vehicle-to-vehicle communication, cameras, sensors, and radar, to a secure, high-speed network linking everything together, thousands of factors have to operate in sync and without fail for self-driving cars to succeed. That’s why the Volkswagen Group on Tuesday announced that it teamed up with a group of suppliers to form the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance to standardize systems that drive self-driving cars.
The group—composed of American tech companies Aquantia and NVIDIA plus German parts suppliers Bosch and Continental—will focus on the small, tedious tasks that add up to a self-driving future, from improving wiring functionality to transmitting more data to developing new network functionality to connect vehicles together.
Volkswagen said Tuesday that the objectives of the alliance extend beyond developing new parameters and standardizing tech. NAV will alsod generate public awareness of autonomous vehicle networks.
This news comes after reports that Apple and Volkswagen are teaming up on self-driving cars. As tech funds continue to invest in automakers’ efforts and competitors are starting to scoop up self-driving component suppliers, it Volkswagen’s plan appears to be to divide and conquer rather than take on the bulk of development responsibility itself.
With growing public concern over the safety of self-driving cars, alliances like NAV may be an important step for automakers to assuage public concerns.
- Brian Leon, for Internet Brands Automotive