Audi is looking for ways to speed up the development of future electric cars in what it hopes will serve as a model for the rest of the Volkswagen Group, the automaker said in a press release Friday.
Recently-appointed Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has launched the “Artemis” project to create a more streamlined development process for new vehicles.
The first task for the Artemis team is a “highly efficient electric car” scheduled to launch in early 2024.
The team will be led by Alex Hitzinger, who is currently in charge of the VW Group’s autonomous-driving development program. Hitzinger also spent three years at Apple in between stints at the VW Group.
“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 Audi press release said.
2019 Audi E-tron – first drive report – Calirornia, May 2019
Audi isn’t the first automaker to create a fast-moving development team focused on electric cars. Ford’s “Team Edison” created the 300-mile Mustang Mach-E electric crossover from a project that started out as a glorified compliance car.
General Motors is also hoping to cut development time by sharing building blocks and spending more on EV development than internal-combustion engine development, but it’s a very different approach versus that of Audi or Ford.
Startups like Byton have (potentially) greatly reduced development times by opting for off-the-shelf components—such as Bosch in their case.
Tesla has some of the shortest development times of any automaker, but that involves a highly controversial practice of putting some “beta” testing into customer hands.