Volkswagen will use Chinese software developers to help design a global autonomous vehicle architecture thanks to the prevalence of qualified programmers which carmakers are struggling to hire elsewhere, senior executives said on Monday. Reuters reports: As carmakers scramble to develop advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving functions, carmakers are struggling to find qualified engineers to build the software algorithms needed to teach cars the right reflexes. Volkswagen has 4,000 engineers in China, with an average age of 29, spread over five research and development sites and a rapidly growing number of software engineers. “In a short period from now they will be able to do 15 to 20 million lines of programming code on an annual basis,” Volkswagen China’s passenger cars chief Stephan Woellenstein said in Shanghai on Monday.
The prevalence of software engineers, combined with the country’s willingness to roll out the infrastructure for connected and self-driving cars, will make China one of the first markets in which autonomous cars gain widespread acceptance, VW managers said. As a result, Chinese suppliers will help Volkswagen Group to design a global autonomous vehicle architecture, he said.