Artemis goes independent

Audi’s Artemis task force for highly automated electric cars has now been spun off into an independent company. Alexander Hitzinger, managing director of the new Artemis GmbH, made the announcement on LinkedIn.

In the post, Hitzinger also said that Artemis was looking for “highly experienced engineers and tech experts from all over the world.” “Having started as a revolutionary project ARTEMIS has now evolved into an independent company,” Hitzinger said. “I’m proud to lead a collective of top engineering and creative talents to accelerate the development of groundbreaking innovations and shape the future of mobility.”

According to earlier reports, Artemis is expected to grow to as many as 250 employees. However, Hitzinger did not reveal how many he has already recruited from within the group and from outside, and how many more are to be added.

Until his appointment as head of the Artemis project, and now as managing director, Hitzinger developed autonomous driving technology for the VW Group. Hitzinger himself, like Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, has his roots in motorsports. In a racing team, work is also done very quickly and innovatively outside the ponderous corporate structures.

Like Duesmann, Hitzinger worked as an engine designer in Formula 1. Among other things, he built up the motorsport team at Porsche that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship from 2015 to 2017. After three years at Apple in Silicon Valley, where he led product development for autonomous vehicles, Hitzinger returned to Volkswagen in 2019.

Audi, under new CEO Markus Duesmann, had established the Artemis project at the end of May. The task force was to develop a “groundbreaking” model “quickly and without bureaucracy.” The highly efficient electric car is to hit the road as early as 2024. To keep to this timetable, the task force has been operating outside the usual Group organization from the outset, now also formally as a GmbH (limited liability company).


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