Today's Top News: Forget Volvo — VW Aims to Take Out Tesla with Worldwide EV & Driverless Rollout

Forget Volvo — VW Aims to Take Out Tesla with Worldwide EV & Driverless Rollout

Volvo Cars' "all-electric" announcement last week was seen as a direct threat to Tesla's electric vehicle (EV) and driverless lead, but German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) says it is in a better position to challenge Tesla.

Speaking to Bloomberg News, Herbert Diess, VW's chairman of the board, said VW "can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn't have today."

Diess made reference to VW's worldwide industrial base and production knowhow that can allow it to produce over a million of EVs per year. Tesla has yet to make 100,000 cars per year after producing less than 90,000 vehicles in 2016.

After the Wall Street Journal reported Tesla may be challenged by its recent share price decline and a potential shortfall in cash flow, Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk tweeted last week "Stop biting my fingers, dammit" in response.

Volkswagen is weeks away from launching its first all-EV model, which it says will have advanced drivelers features. The vehicle is based on the Neo concept, which has a steering wheel that folds into the dashboard when in driverless mode and a range of up to 370 miles on a charge.

Meanwhile, Tesla offers the most-advanced Level 2 driverless features available in retails channels and projects it will be able to make 1 million all-EV cars by 2020.

Waymo Drops Most of Its Patent Claims Agains Uber

Uber has scored a major legal victory as Waymo has filed court documents stating it has dropped most of its complaints against Uber, after accusing the ride-sharing company of using stolen documents and information for its driverless car development.

Uber is also set to depose Larry Page, the CEO of Waymo parent Alphabet, about why its plans to work with Uber to develop driverless cars were cancelled.

The status of Uber's driverless program remains a question mark in the wake of recent turmoil the company has faced. In addition to the Waymo dispute, Uber's troubles include sexual harassment lawsuits filed against the company and Uber CEO and founder Travis Kalanick's recent department from the firm.

VW Forms Partnership to Add Robots to Self-Drive Car

Volkswagen (VW) says its partnership with intelligent automations systems provider KUKA, will allow it to add more robotics to its driverless and electric vehicle (EV) cars.

KUKA will offer robotics that perform tasks for self-drive vehicles owners, such as connecting charging cables and offering other services for vehicles at charging stations.

Additional customer services, beyond piloting cars, is something robots can offer, Matthias Müller, head of research and development at the Volkswagen Group, said in a statement.

We are working intensively on structuring the mobility of tomorrow. This is not simply about innovative vehicle concepts but encompasses completely new requirements in the service sector.

— Matthias Müller, head of research and development at the Volkswagen Group

Elsewhere in the News

The record for the shortest time a Tesla model was driven from coast-to-coast in the US was broken last week, after a 2015 Midnight Silver Tesla Model S 85D was driven from Redondo Beach, Calif. to New York, NY in just under 51 hours. According to the New York Times, a University of Michigan-connected research center in Ann Arbor, Mich. has emerged as a worldwide driverless development hub that will "pave the way" for the world's future of self-drive cars.

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Cover photo by Volkswagen AG

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