In an interview published over the weekend, Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO, told German newspaper Heilbronner Stimme the luxury car maker is not only planning an EV assault, but also looking into autonomous cars and digital services.
Stadler said the company plans to set up a subsidiary, named SDS Company, which will develop a fully-autonomous vehicle.
“This is [a] robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals, so it’s ideal for urban traffic,” he said.
According to Audi’s CEO, the company is still looking for joint venture partners who can help with the development of the technology.
Above: The Audi e-Tron Quattro SUV concept
While pursuing these new strategies, Audi will reduce complexity in other areas, such as its model line-up.
“I think we would barely lose any customers (if we drop the three-door A3),” he said - referring to the three-door A3 hatch that isn’t sold here.
“We’d rather invest the money that is freed up in new models and other derivatives.”
Last month parent company Volkswagen revealed its plans to release more than 30 new electric and electrically-assisted vehicles by 2025. Skoda is also reportedly working on an all-electric SUV - likely based on the Vision S concept - for a 2020 debut.
Audi’s EV models, along with the upcoming electric models coming from Volkswagen, are likely to be built on the group’s ‘MEB’ modular electric component set.