Volkswagen (VW), the German automaker, has announced that the upcoming production version of the original ID.BUZZ will be the first model of the Volkswagen Group to offer autonomous driving. It has also revealed the concept sketch of the self-driving test vehicle. LiDAR sensors are visible on the corners, and a roof-mounted bulge should hold more tech to help the van sense its surroundings.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) is consistently and rapidly advancing the development of autonomous driving systems that will soon be integrated into production models, enhancing road safety. The aim is to develop Special Purpose Vehicles such as robotic taxis and vans that will move completely independently.
“This year, for the first time, we are conducting field trials in Germany, in which the self-driving system by Argo AI will be used in a version of the future ID.BUZZ by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles,” said Christian Senger, Head of Autonomous Driving.“The aim is to develop a ride-hailing and pooling concept similar to what MOIA offers today. In the middle of this decade, our customers will then have the opportunity to be taken to their destination in selected cities with autonomous vehicles.”
Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in software company Argo Al to develop autonomous driving technology and recently merged with the group’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) division. VW is also investing billions in projects of the Car.Software Organisation that develops, in parallel and independently of Argo AI, assisted and automated driving functions up to level 4 for the private mobility sector of all Volkswagen Group brands.
The developments are already running at full speed to not only electrify the iconic Bulli but also transform it into a groundbreaking autonomous vehicle with Argo’s self-driving system (SDS).
VW will start testing its Argo AI self-driving systems in Germany this year using the retro-styled ID.BUZZ electric vans. The new concept doesn’t have the retro-themed two-ton color scheme we’ve seen in the previous ID.BUZZ releases, but we’ll have to wait for its world premiere next year to see how it pays homage to VW vans from the past.