Within a few months, VW will begin testing a fleet of self-driving ID Buzz Vans equipped with Argo AI
Volkswagen is planning a number of ID.Buzz self-driving carpooling systems by 2025.
Volkswagen will begin testing its AI-based autonomous vehicle service Argo in Germany in the next few months. with the aim of introducing an autonomous commercial delivery and ridesharing service by 2025.
The German manufacturer will use its own ID.Buzz vans, which are equipped with the technology of the US start-up Argo AI. Both Volkswagen and Ford are supporting the hardware and software outfit to develop autonomous vehicle technology, following the global alliance of the two automakers, which also includes sharing next-generation platforms from Amarok and Ranger.
Argo has been testing its autonomous vehicles in the United States for a number of years, although with this latest development Volkswagen will deploy fifth-generation technology on German roads in the summer of the northern hemisphere – or in the Australian winter.
Earlier this year, Argo and VW developed a prototype that uses VW’s MEB electric vehicle architecture under an existing T6 van. It included LIDAR, radar, and cameras that enable the AI to “see” the environment and plan next steps. According to Argos founder and CEO Bryan Salesky, this enables automated driving at low and high speeds.
“We’re building our technology and partnerships with Volkswagen in a way that really sets us apart from what others do,” said Salesky. “And we believe that it really enables us to deliver a safe, intelligent and scalable product that delivers on the promise of autonomous driving.”
VW intends to add the next generation of the autonomously equipped ID.Buzz van to its Moia car pool fleet in Hamburg. To date, Moia has operated a fleet of electric vehicles that has served three million customers. The next goal, however, is to turn these journeys into an autonomous experience.
It goes without saying that the ID.Buzz models equipped with Argo technology will work autonomously at level four, which means that the drivers do not have to touch the steering wheel, but the vehicles can only drive autonomously under certain conditions. Volkswagen has set itself the goal of bringing these autonomous ID.Buzz car pools to market by 2025.
Tom started out in the auto industry using his photography skills, but quickly learned that journalists had the better end of the deal. He started at CarAdvice in 2014, left in 2017 to switch to Bauer Media titles such as Wheels and WhichCar, and then returned to CarAdvice in early 2021 during the switch to Drive. As part of the Drive content team, Tom reports on automotive news, car reviews, and advice, and has a particular interest in long feature stories. He knows that every car buyer is unique and has different requirements when it comes to buying a new car, but there is also a loyal subgroup of the Drive audience who love entertaining enthusiast content. Tom has a great respect for everything related to automobiles, regardless of model, and prides himself on noting the subtle things that make any car tick. Not a day goes by without learning something new in a constantly changing industry that is then passed on to the Drive readership. He’s one of the lucky few who can say he loves his job and is a die-hard BMW fan – just ask him.
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