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Alex Hitzinger, chief executive of VW Autonomy spoke with Electrek at CES 2020 and he told them that the ID.Buzz is going to be the basis for its first self-driving vehicles. This makes sense given all the news that's come out about VW using the Buzz at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In the interview he also mentioned that the current cost of an autonomous system is at $100,000 or more depending on the sensors. But he believes that price will drop to $10,000 in 10 years.

“The ID Buzz will be our first L4-capable vehicle,” said Alex Hitzinger, chief executive of VW Autonomy, a new entity that was announced during CES 2020.

In a small roundtable meeting on the sidelines of CES, Hitzinger told Electrek, “It’s a nice form factor as a people mover, and we’ll have an ID Buzz cargo that also can be used for last-mile e-commerce delivery.”

In other words, Volkswagen’s search for use cases that make sense for expensive self-driving development is an ideal match to the ID Buzz’s size and shape. The electric surfer van that we want for fun will have a parallel life as a self-driving mobility-as-service shuttle and local delivery robot.

“You have a use case where you have very high utilization of your asset, and therefore you can cope with the high cost of the system, and you still have a good business case,” said Hitzinger.

He pegged the current cost of an autonomous system (above and beyond the vehicle platform) at $100,000 or more, depending on what sensors are used. But within about 10 years, it will be about $10,000, with continual cost reductions in the next few years.
 
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