Over the past days, there has already been rumors in the media. Today, we make it official: We take the next step in our collaboration with Ford in order to advance autonomous driving, electrification and better serve our customers:
1) Volkswagen joins Ford in investing in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology company, which will create a Level 4 self driving system (SDS) for Ford and us. We will commercialize this in the early 2020ies.
2) Volkswagen and Ford have also agreed on a delivery of 600,000 MEB platform systems for one European car of Ford. A second vehicle for Europe is still under discussion, which could lead to even more MEB scale for us. So far the deal leads to extra sales of 10 to 20 bn USD for us.
In order to make autonomous driving not only ready for series production but also safely deployable, we collaborate with Argo AI contributing assets and investing in the company, alongside Ford. Argo AI is expected to provide the self driving system, we need to deliver fully integrated self-driving vehicles that can be manufactured at scale for safe, reliable and durable deployment in ride sharing and goods delivery services. The SDS a one of a kind technology for autonomous driving aiming to become the global standard of our industry. Just like we intend with our Modular Electrical Kit platform, the MEB.
In March 2019, we have already announced at Geneva Motor Show that we open our MEB to other OEMs. The MEB enables us to develop vehicles ranging from electrically powered small city cars to large limousines to camper vans. As you know, we aim to turn the electric car from a niche product into a mass phenomenon. And we are very proud that Ford is going to join us on the way to CO2-neutral mobility.
Ford is the first additional OEM to use our MEB for high-volume European zero emission vehicle production. Opening the MEB drives down costs, increases the model variety available and allows for electric vehicles at an attractive price. This brings us a step closer to reducing the CO2 emissions of our industry and leads to a wider adoption of electric vehicles in general, which will help us to fulfill the Paris 2015 agreement and keep our promises to society.
The collaboration with Ford is an important milestone on the “Roadmap E” for Volkswagen – and potentially other OEMs – as well as for our autonomous driving objectives in the not-too-distant future. I look forward to an inspiring and successful collaboration with Ford and Argo AI. We are #shapingmobility together.