VW CEO Says Widespread Autonomous Driving Could Happen Within 25 Years

During a recent question-and-answer session on Reddit, VW CEO Herbert Diess touched on several intriguing topics, including autonomous driving, connectivity, future models and even the possibility of one day adding a fully electric pickup truck to its portfolio.
VW CEO Herbert Diess 6 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
VW CEO Herbert DiessVW CEO Herbert DiessVW CEO Herbert DiessVW CEO Herbert DiessVW CEO Herbert Diess
The chief exec also said that his company was looking into future partnerships to increase its self-sufficiency in software, while adding features such as brand-specific voice assistants to its passenger vehicles, as reported by Reuters.

He then mentioned that VW is already working on both a sedan version of the I.D. Space Vizzion (originally an EV wagon concept), as well as an SUV variant – which should do well in markets such as North America. Another idea being thrown around the carmaker’s offices involves an ID.3 Cabriolet model. The latter could prove quite interesting, if it ever goes into production.

There’s certainly room for fully electric convertible models that, in theory, would also be somewhat affordable, and we know they’re coming anyway, since the entire industry is currently headed toward a battery-electric future. I’m not sure about how well the ID.3 would look without a roof, but that’s VW’s problem.

As for what he expects when it comes to autonomous driving, well, it would seem that Diess is a lot less bullish on this technology than other major industry players, such as Elon Musk. In fact, while Diess does believe that industry-wide adoption of fully autonomous driving technologies is going to happen, his timeframe for it happening is “within 25 years,” so basically sometime before 2050.

This actually makes sense given how slowly the tech is currently developing and that not all markets feature the proper infrastructure for cars to drive completely independently.

Finally, the VW boss was asked whether his company would consider making a fully electric pickup truck like the Ford F-150 Lightning, something he believes would be a “good idea”. Now, an electric VW pickup wouldn’t necessarily have to be full-size, like the F-150 Lightning or the Silverado EV, as the German brand could simply electrify the Amarok.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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