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VW Cariad image from video on Cariad SE
Birds eye view depicting Bosch / VW / Cariad AV software platform

Bosch and Volkswagen Subsidiary Cariad Form Alliance for Volume Production of Level 3 AVs

Bosch and VW agree on an alliance to develop a standardized software platform for mass production of vehicles up to SAE Level 3 with plans to explore targets for Level 4 systems. The alliance aims to bring this platform to volume production, with the first features to appear in 2023 models.

Promising “more safety and less stress” for drivers, the extensive partnership aims to rapidly expand the number of Volkswagen Group models with AD capabilities. Bosch and Volkswagen Group subsidiary Cariad will build a new, standardized software platform for vehicles targeted toward mass production in all consumer VW Group brands.

More than 1,000 engineers and experts from Bosch and Cariad will collaborate in this high-powered partnership to build systems for automated driving up to SAE Level 3, with plans to explore targets for joint development up to Level 4. The AI development is focused on two core elements: computer vision and deep learning to enable the sensing, decision making and vehicle control for L2 and L3 features.

The functions include L3 hands-free systems for urban, suburban and freeway driving, plus a L3 system that can take over all driving functions on the freeway. In an approach that Volvo is also pursuing, the technology stack will be offered to other automakers and suppliers for integration of all component parts into their ADAS and AV ecosystems.

Cariad SE  is an automotive software subsidiary in the VW Group established in 2020 to consolidate and expand the Group’s automotive software systems into a standardized platform for future VW brand vehicles. The platform includes a unified and scalable architecture, an operating system and an automotive cloud. The full software platform is scheduled for deployment in 2025, with features beginning to emerge in 2023 models.

Cariad develops ADAS systems, a standardized infotainment platform, software for linking powertrains, chassis and charging technologies, as well as automotive ecosystems and digital business models. The company is based in Germany and works with VW Group teams in the U.S. and China.

Cariad CEO Dirk Hilgenberg says: “Automated driving is key to the future of our industry. With our cooperation, we’ll strengthen Germany’s reputation for innovativeness. Bosch and Cariad will further enhance their expertise in the development of pioneering technologies.”

Cariad and the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division are designing the new platform to intelligently process real-world data using a 360-degree sensor system. The system will use massive data sets to train AI for lateral and longitudinal guidance of vehicles as well as localization using high-resolution maps. The system will process this real-world information in real time and is being developed with traffic data continuously collected from the entire VW fleet of connected vehicles on the road today.

The combination of Bosch and VW/Cariad technologies, expertise, resources, market reach and manufacturing capabilities means this powerhouse partnership is positioned to be one of the key players for years to come in the consumer AV space. The same platform and systems could be applied to commercial vehicles in the future, with some adjustments for size and weight. However, the current engineering alliance with Cariad relates to partially and highly automated driving for private mobility and does not include commercial vehicles.


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