Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) has announced the first vehicle in the Volkswagen Group to also drive autonomously will be a version of the ID.BUZZ. The ID.BUZZ is a new battery-electric take on the German carmaker’s classic Type 2 camper that was first made in the 1950s. The new cleaner zero-emissions camper is expected to launch in Germany in 2022 and the USA the following year.
VWCV has been working hard at advancing the development and implementation of autonomous driving. The introduction of autonomous systems for traffic use in 2025 is currently being prepared at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Carsten Intra, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “With the confirmation of the group’s supervisory board for our Autonomous Driving R&D program, we are setting the course for the future of mobility. Autonomous, electric driving will make an important contribution to urban mobility and road safety. Our vehicles are the logical first choice to apply such systems too.”
Christian Senger, head of autonomous driving, said: “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.
“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.”
As part of their cooperation, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have invested equally in Argo AI, a company specialising in software platforms for autonomous driving. The goal of the collaboration is the consistent and speedy development of autonomous systems.
In addition to the initial investment of $1 billion, Volkswagen also brought its subsidiary autonomous intelligent driving (AID) into Argo AI. With the budget for autonomous driving now confirmed by the supervisory board, VWCV is taking the next significant step towards the future of autonomous mobility.
The commercial vehicle brand is responsible for the development of fully autonomous systems and their commercial use in urban areas. VWCV will develop and build special purpose vehicles, such as robo-taxis and vans.
Additionally to the investments in Argo AI, the Volkswagen Group is also investing billions in projects of the Car.Software Organisation. They’re developing, in parallel and independently of Argo AI, assisted and automated driving functions up to level four for the private mobility sector of all Volkswagen Group brands.
VWCV develops the vehicles in which Argo’s self-driving system (SDS) will be used. They are based on the all-electric ID. BUZZ, which will have its world premiere next year. The developments are already running at full speed, to not only electrify the iconic Type 2 camper but also transform it into a groundbreaking autonomous vehicle with SDS.