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VW Group will handle self-driving car development in-house, report says

It's targeting Waymo as the benchmark for self-driving success.

Volkswagen - autonomous driving
VW's going all-in on self-driving car tech and it's doing it in-house.
Volkswagen

Not only is developing self-driving car technology incredibly difficult, but it's also expensive. That has led many car companies to partner up with smaller, self-driving car-specific startups. Ford and Argo or Honda and Cruise, for example. But, according to a report published Tuesday by Automotive News Europe, not the Volkswagen group.

Instead, the parent company of VW, Audi and Porsche will take the majority of its development in-house, and it's got Alphabet's self-driving company Waymo in its sights. This is a big deal because it means that not only will VW have full control over its product development, it will also be able to license the tech to other companies.

While it wasn't initially made clear in Duesmann's statements, Volkswagen has since clarified to Roadshow that it will continue to work with its partner Argo AI on commercial vehicles, and that this move to develop tech in-house only applies to production vehicles destined for private ownership. It also added that it expects to have its first commercial vehicles in service in Germany by 2025.

VW isn't the only German automaker to go it alone when it comes to self-driving car tech. Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) has been working on its own platform for a while now.

Currently, no manufacturer offers a Level 4 or Level 5 autonomous vehicle for sale to the public, but several developers have been successfully testing fully driverless cars on public roads, including Waymo and Cruise.

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Updated Feb. 3, 2:02 p.m. PT: Added clarifying statements from Volkswagen.