The Volkswagen Group is strengthening its development competence “in China, for China” to accelerate the pace of innovation, promote technological localization and further strengthen its customer focus in this important market. A new partnership between its software company CARIAD and Horizon Robotics, one of the providers of computing solutions for smart vehicles in China, will accelerate the regional development of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD) systems for the Chinese market. As part of the cooperation, CARIAD and Horizon Robotics plan to also establish a joint venture, with CARIAD being majority shareholder. Volkswagen Group will overall invest approximately EUR 2.4 billion in cooperation with Horizon Robotics. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Together CARIAD and Horizon Robotics plan to develop cutting-edge, highly optimized full stack ADAS/AD solutions for China to drive forward the integration of numerous functions on one chip, increasing the stability of the system, saving costs, and reducing energy consumption. The fully integrated software/hardware technology offers differentiation and provides scalable as well as cost efficient ADAS/AD solutions for the Group’s BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles) models in China. The closing of the transaction is subject to the final signing of transaction documents between the parties involved and customary government approval, as well as, in particular, the approval of merger control and foreign investment authorities.
“The partnership with Horizon Robotics is a central cornerstone of our strategy to realign and further strengthen our activities in our most important market worldwide. Localized technology development grants the region more autonomy to further expand its position in the dynamic automotive market. Cutting edge technology comprising the full software and hardware stack, which the new joint venture will develop, will enable us to tailor our products and services even faster and more consistently to the needs of our Chinese customers. Teaming up with Horizon Robotics will allow Volkswagen to accelerate the development of automated driving solutions as part of our NEW AUTO strategy and drive the repositioning of our China business,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Member of the Management Board of Volkswagen AG for China.
“As the global automotive software and technology company of Volkswagen Group, CARIAD is an important force in the Group’s transformation into a software-driven mobility provider. Through the joint venture with Horizon Robotics in China and further investment in autonomous driving technology, we are underlining our position in innovation and modernization in China’s automotive industry. Our goal is to create long- term value in China for the Group and our shareholders in line with expected market development”, said CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg.
“Horizon Robotics is committed to empowering smart vehicles through integrated computing solutions with the mission to make human life safer and better,” said Dr. Kai Yu, founder and CEO of Horizon Robotics, “As one of the leading companies to commercialize and mass produce computing solutions of autonomous driving in China, we will bring in our expertise to the partnership with CARIAD to develop next-generation technologies for smart vehicle users. We believe our integrated software and hardware solutions will continue to position Horizon Robotics as a partner of choice for international automakers in China.”
Smart, intelligent driving enabled by advanced ADAS/AD systems is the key technology of future mobility and an area with high potential for market growth, in which the speed of development is paramount. The partnership of CARIAD and Horizon Robotics foresees the formation of a joint venture, in which CARIAD shall hold a 60 percent stake. CARIAD and Horizon Robotics aim to accelerate the development and commercialization of software and hardware technologies in the automotive sector in China to make automated driving for Chinese customers a reality faster.