Audi AG partners with Israel’s autonomous vehicle simulation platform provider Cognata Ltd

The collaboration marks the Audi AG as the first major carmaker to sign a multi-year partnership with Cognata’s platform.

On Tuesday, Israel-based Cognata Ltd, an autonomous vehicle simulation platform provider, stated it has partnered with Volkswagen’s Audi to speed up the development of autonomous vehicles.

The simulation platform recreates virtually a range of testing scenarios including real-world cities, traffic models with realistic road conditions and provides autonomous vehicle makers a test bed for designing their vehicles prior to their physical launch on actual roadways.

This partnership marks Audi as the first major carmaker to sign a multi-year partnership with Cognata’s platform. The move will enable it to significantly reduce the time its autonomous vehicles hit the mainstream consumer market.

Audi’s collaboration was through its self driving car unit Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH (AID).

“At AID, we are convinced that simulation is a key tool to increase our development speed and a necessary one for the validation of our product and for proving it is safe,” said Alex Haag, AID’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

He went on to add, “After exploring various solutions, we decided that partnering with Cognata is the fastest way to reach these goals”.

“Simulation technology can help greatly reduce autonomous vehicle testing costs for carmakers,” said Danny Atsmon, Cognata’s Chief Executive Officer.

The deal comes at a time when Israel’s defense technology, which was instrumental in the development of its tank guidance and missile interception system is being redeployed in the autonomous automated driverless car segment.

In 2017, Israeli auto tech startups raised a record $814 million, a step behind their U.S. peers who raised $1.2 billion.

Among the companies that have either acquired startups or are setting up their own centres in Israel are, U.S. chipmaker Intel, Samsung, German auto supplier Continental, carmakers GM, Daimler and Ford Motor Co.

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