Audi will open an r&d center in the east China city of Wuxi in the first quarter of 2019 to help steer development of autonomous vehicles.
The research hub and vehicle test center will employ about 150 engineers, Audi said this week.
Audi received approval this month from the Wuxi city government to test vehicles equipped with L4 automatic driving technologies on designated sections of local roads.
The German luxury brand also operates an r&d center in Beijing to develop customized interiors and infotainment products for vehicles sold in China.
The Beijing center has about 280 employees.
The number of employees in the r&d centers in Beijing and Wuxi will rise to 650 by 2023 to advance the development of technologies used in autonomous driving, digitization and alternative energy vehicles, Audi said.
Audi is set to launch sales of the elongated Q2 crossover in China next month. It will be the fifth product and the third crossover Audi assembles in China, following the A3, A4 and A6 sedans and the Q3 and Q5 crossovers.
In the first eight months of the year, Audi’s China deliveries advanced 16 percent to 417,234.
The luxury brand of Volkswagen Group also plans to double the number of locally produced models in China by 2022.