AUDI AG establishes ‘Artemis’ for special high-tech projects.
A new special projects department at AUDI AG will look to accelerate the development of a range of new and exciting models for the future.
4 June, 2020
'Artemis' is the brainchild of the newly-appoint CEO at Audi, Markus Duesmann
Although plans are well advanced to introduce a raft of new models in the coming years, Audi is not relaxing its future planning, with the announcement that a special projects department – called Artemis – will be established to ‘accelerate development of new automobile models’.
To be headed up by Alex Hitzinger, who is currently in charge of autonomous driving for the Volkswagen Group, Artemis is designed to cut through ‘red tape’ and fast track ideas, designs and technologies, potentially calling on the resources and technologies of the entire Volkswagen Group to achieve its aims.
'Artemis' is the brainchild of the newly-appoint CEO at Audi, Markus Duesmann, who sees the special unit as integral to the ongoing development of vehicles for the immediate and long term future.
“I expect ‘Artemis’ to provide a blueprint for a fast and agile development process at the Group, as agile as in a racing team,” says Markus Duesmann, who chose Alex Hitzinger to head up the new team in part because of his extensive experience in Formula 1 and as a development engineer across a range of senior industry roles.
“I value Alex Hitzinger for his strengths in innovation and implementation. We need both qualities to make major technological advances,” said Duesmann of the appointment.
“I am also relying on his expertise to integrate future achievements into new products together with the development departments of our major Group brands.”
Hitzinger will head up a team of automotive and technology experts and initially their brief is to develop a highly efficient electric car that is scheduled to be on the road as early as 2024.
“With 75 planned electric models by 2029, the current electric initiative at the Volkswagen Group naturally ties up all our capacities,” says Duesmann.
“The obvious question was how we could implement additional high-tech benchmarks without jeopardising the manageability of existing projects, and at the same time utilise new opportunities in the markets.”
To that end, the project team will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally, from the high-tech hub of the INCampus in Ingolstadt to the west coast of the United States where Audi also has extensive design and development facilities.
Alex Hitzinger’s skill set is perfect for the new role, having previously headed up the Le Mans winning Porsche motorsport team that won the Endurance World Championship from 2015 to 2017. He was also the youngest chief development engineer in Formula 1 and led the team that developed the first Formula 1 engine with a speed range of up to 20,000 rpm. As well as stints with Apple in Silicon Valley, Hitzinger’s roles at the Volkswagen Group heading up autonomous driving stand him in good stead to oversee Artemis, which promises to fast track the future.
The project team will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally, from the high-tech hub of the INCampus in Ingolstadt to the west coast of the United States
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