Argo AI and Volkswagen (VW) are ramping up the testing and development of the all-electric ID. BUZZ AD (Autonomous Driving) in preparation for the launch of autonomous services in Germany and beyond. At this year’s IAA Mobility motor show in Munich, Argo and VW will debut the first-generation model of the ID. BUZZ self-driving test vehicle. The retro-futuristic van will be the first Volkswagen Group vehicle with SAE Level 4 automation capabilities.
The ID. BUZZ AD prototypes are equipped with a combination of cameras, radars, and LiDAR sensors that allow it to detect objects at a distance of more than 400 meters, even in conditions of limited visibility. In addition to a set of sensors, the minibus is equipped with Argo AI’s autonomous driving system, which includes maps, equipment, and special software. The onboard computer software builds a 360-degree image of the surroundings as the BUZZ AD moves through the streets, predicting the movement of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles and controlling the engine, braking and steering accordingly – so that the van moves safely and naturally like an experienced driver.
Volkswagen first unveiled the ID. BUZZ concept back in 2017. The vehicle is currently being tested on Argo’s brand new closed-course track at Franz Josef Strauss International Airport in Munich and will soon be deployed on the public streets of Munich itself. The goal is to deliver self-driving ID. BUZZ vehicles for commercial services in the city of Hamburg in 2025, with autonomous ride-pooling services to be run by VW’s subsidiary MOIA, mobility as a service (MaaS) provider.
In addition to Volkswagen, Argo AI cooperates with Ford Motor and Lyft; in total, investors have invested several billion dollars in this startup, which increased its capitalization to $12.4 billion. Additional funds can be raised during the public offering, which is scheduled for 2021.