Thursday, July 18, 2024

VW Plans to Test Driverless ID Buzz Van with Passengers Aboard

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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is set to test its self-driving ID Buzz AD electric van in realistic conditions with passengers on board for the first time. The announcement was made by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Carsten Intra at the company’s annual news conference in Hanover. The tests are scheduled to start in the second half of the year in Hamburg, initially with selected users before eventually launching full operations through Volkswagen Group subsidiary Moia.

Previously, test drives with the ID Buzz as a robot taxi were conducted in Munich and later in Hamburg in 2021, with positive results according to Intra. However, these vehicles were operating without passengers. The upcoming test operation aims to gauge the reception of the service by regular users under actual road conditions.

Intra mentioned that if the feedback is positive, the service could be opened to everyone by 2026. Initially, a safety driver will be present on the test drives but will only intervene in emergencies. The long-term goal is to operate the vehicles without a driver.

The project is a collaboration between VW and Intel subsidiary Mobileye, which is providing the self-driving technology for the electric van. The vehicle is specifically designed for ride-sharing mobility services like Moia.

Intra emphasized that the ultimate goal is to offer affordable and sustainable mobility in major cities that is accessible to all. Stay tuned for more updates on this innovative development in the transportation sector.

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