German car manufacturer Audi AG has entered a partnership with Cognata Ltd in an effort to expedite their development of autonomous vehicles.
Cognata, an Isreali-based startup company that specializes in providing autonomous vehicle simulation platforms according to Reuters.
The Middle-Eastern entity claims that their simulation platforms are able to recreate real-world cities virtually, as well as provide a variety of testing scenarios such as traffic models that mimic realistic conditions before autonomous vehicles are tested on actual roads.
Audi's self-driving car unit Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH (AID) is the first manufacturer to sign a multi-year deal with Cognata. And they expect that the partnership will quicken their production of autonomous cars, which they hope to be able to market at the soonest.
"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," AID Chief Technology Officer Alex Haag remarked.
"After exploring various solutions, we decided that partnering with Cognata is the fastest way to reach these goals."
Cognata's Chief Executive Officer Danny Atsmon also explained that simulation technology, particularly their platform, can significantly reduce testing costs.
"Simulation technology can help greatly reduce autonomous vehicle testing costs for carmakers," he said.
Several car companies, including the likes of General Motors, Uber, and Waymo, have begun investing in testing for self-driven vehicles and are looking to make their products available to the public in the near future.
Meanwhile, the deal between AID and Cognata coincides with the Israel Army's defense tech being redeployed in the research and production of driverless cars. The tech has kept the military's computers secure, helped them drive tanks and guide/intercept missiles.
Autonomous car production seems to be the direction manufacturers are heading in nowadays and it's likely that they become a thing of the future on a grand scale. But one would be forgiven for being overly skeptical regarding a car that drives itself and isn't in a movie.