MARKUS DUESMANN LAUNCHES “ARTEMIS” PROJECT
>> New Audi CEO and Volkswagen Board of Management Member for Group Research and Development creates agile unit for additional car projects
>> Alex Hitzinger will establish and manage “Artemis” in Ingolstadt with use of the Group’s resources and technologies
>> Hitzinger’s team is to implement a new lighthouse project for Audi in record time
Two months after taking office as the new CEO at Audi, Markus Duesmann is setting up a unit for the accelerated development of additional automobile models. The head of the “Artemis” high-tech project will be Alex Hitzinger, a successful motorsport chief engineer and currently in charge of autonomous driving in the Group. He will work with a team of automotive and technology experts to – as a first step – “develop a pioneering model for Audi quickly and unbureaucratically,” says Duesmann. Resources and technologies of the entire Volkswagen Group are potentially available for this. Duesmann and his Volkswagen Group colleagues also expect the “Artemis” project to provide a blueprint for the future agile development of cars throughout the Volkswagen Group.
“The Volkswagen Group’s brands stand for excellent technologies – and have potential for much more,” said the Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Markus Duesmann. “With 75 planned electric models by 2029, the current electric initiative at the Volkswagen Group naturally ties up all our capacities. The obvious question was how we could implement additional high-tech benchmarks without jeopardizing the manageability of existing projects, and at the same time utilize new opportunities in the markets.” The project team will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally, from the high-tech hub of the INCampus in Ingolstadt to the west coast of the United States. Digital services will be provided by the Group’s own unit, car.Software.org, which is also based in Ingolstadt. “Artemis” will focus on new technologies for electric, highly automated driving with a specific model reference. Its first task is to create a highly efficient electric car that is scheduled to be on the road as early as 2024. The creative team will also develop an extensive ecosystem around the car, thus designing a new business model for the entire usage phase.
Alex Hitzinger will be the head of the “Artemis” project, reporting directly to Markus Duesmann as of June 1, 2020. Hitzinger was until now Board of Management Member for Technical Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, as well as Senior Vice President of the Volkswagen Group with responsibility for autonomous driving. “I value Alex Hitzinger for his strengths in innovation and implementation. We need both qualities to make major technological advances,” stated Audi CEO Duesmann, who also has overall responsibility for research and development at the Volkswagen Group. “I am also relying on his expertise to integrate future achievements into new products together with the development departments of our major Group brands. In the medium term, I expect ‘Artemis’ to provide a blueprint for a fast and agile development process at the Group, as agile as in a racing team.”
Hitzinger started his automotive career as a development engineer at Toyota Motorsport. At Ford/Cosworth, he was the youngest chief development engineer in Formula 1. Under his leadership, the first Formula 1 engine with a speed range of up to 20,000 rpm was created in 2006. After Red Bull Technology, Hitzinger joined the Volkswagen Group for the first time and built up the highly successful motorsport team at Porsche that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Endurance World Championship from 2015 to 2017. After three years at Apple in Silicon Valley, where he set up and managed product development for autonomous vehicles, Hitzinger returned to the Volkswagen Group in 2019 to develop autonomous driving and the ID. BUZZ at VW Commercial Vehicles.
CAPGEMINI AND AUDI LAUNCH NEW JOINT VENTURE: XL2
>> New company to focus on SAP S/4HANA® and Cloud Services
>> XL2 to support the digital transformation of the automotive industry
Capgemini and Audi today announced the launch of their joint venture - XL2. Following regulatory approvals, the company was founded at the end of April. It will provide digital technology and consulting services, namely in the fields of SAP S/4HANA® and cloud services primarily for Audi and the entire Volkswagen Group. XL2 combines an agile start-up culture reinforced by two global industry-leaders. The company's goal is to expand its project business gradually and achieve a powerful workforce within the next five years.
XL2 was founded by Audi and Capgemini to support the automotive industry in digital transformation tasks. The joint venture that focuses on consulting and technology services for cloud and SAP S/4HANA® includes industry solutions such as SAP Leonardo®. XL2 is designed to enable end-to-end digital manufacturing, covering all central processes, including production planning, logistics, finance, maintenance, quality and materials management. Projects of the legally independent entity are to be carried out for Audi. The first focus areas are SAP projects for production and master data management, as well as development in the context of cloud-based applications.
XL2 embodies an agile innovative start-up culture backed by two global brands
Capgemini and Audi have a long-standing partnership in developing solutions for digital transformation and co-innovation. The new co-owned company strengthens this collaboration and leverages their joint capabilities. The formation of XL2 takes the partnership to a new level and continues the successful collaboration in developing solutions and co-innovations for digital transformation. XL2 will benefit from the combined experience and expertise of the two global leaders. Its independence and agility, combined with the rigor and breadth of the large organizations, aims to address the rapidly changing requirements of digital transformation in the automotive sector.
Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG: "XL2’s flexible and scalable way of working and its focus on important key technologies is part of our vision and our needs in further advancing digital transformation. Our long-term relationship with Capgemini and its proven capabilities in the automotive and SAP sectors makes it the right partner.”
The joint venture will have dual leadership: by Géraldine Aubert, previously Vice President of Packaged Based Services at Capgemini, and Felix Spitznagel, previously Director SAP Acceleration Center at Audi. The goal of this agile, innovative company is to build a powerful workforce within the next five years in order to service more projects in the future. The company is now looking to recruit namely SAP consultants, software developers as well as analytics and data engineers, from graduates to established experts. XL2's headquarters are located in Heilbronn in Germany, in close proximity to Audi’s production site in Neckarsulm. The vicinity of the Audi production site is noteworthy and an additional enrichment of the ecosystem. The Audi location in Neckarsulm also offers an ideal testing and application environment for IT solutions in the field of digital production.
Markus Winkler, Global Head of the Automotive Sector at Capgemini said "XL2 is an exciting new brand that stands out from the market combining an agile start-up culture and the experience and capabilities of two industry leaders. Its employees will shape digital transformation in the automotive industry with key state-of-the-art technologies. For that, we are excited to join forces with Audi, a technology leader in its own industry.
For more information on XL2: www.xl2.de
AUDI AUTOMATED DRIVING DEVELOPMENT R&D OFFICE OPENS IN SILICON VALLEY WITH FLEET OF NEW TEST VEHICLES
>> New Audi Automated Driving Development R&D office focused on creating Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technologies specifically for North American market
>> The development team anticipates hiring up to 60 engineers primarily for artificial intelligence, software development, and Silicon Valley startup collaborations
>> Audi Q7 SUV testing fleet outfitted with QR code wraps allow onlookers to get the latest in Audi automated driving developments
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Audi today announced the opening of its new Audi Automated Driving Development (A2D2) R&D office in San Jose to create Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) specifically for the North American market. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, A2D2 will have the flexibility to quickly develop new software and to collaborate with nearby startups for production-intent applications.
The U.S. is expected to continue its lead in terms of ADAS system capabilities based on artificial intelligence and its cloud supported development processes in the push to more advanced Level 2+ automated systems for the coming decade worldwide.
“Given the rapid advancement of driver assistance technologies in North America, it’s important to be part of the latest breakthroughs, work with leading edge of technology startups and attract the top talent,” said Frank Grosshauser, senior director, ADAS, Audi of America. “We’re looking to bring on as many as 60 engineers to develop new functionalities, catered specifically to North American Audi customer needs.”
While Audi maintains R&D offices in various locations throughout the U.S., A2D2 is the first office dedicated to developing ADAS hardware and software specifically for North American roads and driving behaviors.
To start, A2D2 has outfitted several Audi Q7 development vehicles with roof-mounted sensor kits to collect data and help software engineers develop tools that power tomorrow’s vehicles and enhance the driving experience in an Audi. The A2D2 development vehicles are wrapped in a QR code that links to a webpage with the latest Audi automated driving breakthroughs and developments. Designers working in the Audi Design Loft in Malibu, California, created the unique graphics and logo specifically for A2D2.
The fleet of testing vehicles will be used for data acquisition to develop various cloud-based automated driver-assistance functions planned for introduction by 2023.
Audi is focused on the further development of automated driving together with colleagues in the Car.Software organization, a newly founded Volkswagen Group unit. All Volkswagen Group brands have concentrated their automated driving development activities within this unit. This pooling of expertise ensures that synergies can be leveraged and benefits can be realized for all Volkswagen Group brands.