(Pocket-lint) – Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has confirmed that it will have autonomous versions of the ID. Buzz on the road by 2025.
Working with Argo AI – a company also working with Ford on self-driving vehicles – VW confirmed that it will be conducting trials on the roads in Germany in 2021.
“The aim is to develop a ride-hailing and pooling concept similar to what MOIA [a ride-sharing service available in Hamburg and Hanover] 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,” said Christian Senger, head of autonomous driving at VW Commercial Vehicles.
MOIA is a VW subsidiary, hence the connection, with firm plans to have MOIA using an autonomous electric vehicle by 2025.
“Hamburg will be the first city to offer an autonomous ridepooling service with an ID. Buzz,” said Robert Henrich, CEO of MOIA.
It brings to mind Johnny Cab from Total Recall, but with an electric van in the works – ID. Buzz – and the brains coming from the Argo AI system, that could well become a reality.
While the electric VW van has been teased for some time – and is due for launch in 2022 – the autonomous driving systems run independently. But commercial vehicles are a logical place for such systems, both as taxis and for last mile delivery services.
Argo AI has a Lidar system for scanning 360 degrees around the vehicle, with a range of some 400 metres, while the system additionally uses radar and cameras to get a complete picture of the world around the vehicle.
Today’s announcement is really about VW confirming its investment into the system to make all these pieces come together. The next part of the puzzle will be the launch of the ID. Buzz, which will open up a world of electric delivery vehicles, service vehicles, taxis and inevitably, campervan conversions.
Writing by Chris Hall.