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VW is aiming to have self-driving ID. BUZZ commercial vans in service by 2025.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI launch international trials of autonomous driving with ID. BUZZ
May 12, 2021

  • European Argo AI test site opening this summer in Munich, Germany
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand using a combination of lidar, radar and cameras for Level 4 autonomous driving vehicles
  • Commercial use as of 2025: Volkswagen Group’s transport service provider MOIA to be first user of self-driving ID. BUZZ AD in Germany
Hanover, Germany − The first self-driving prototypes based on the future Volkswagen ID. BUZZ production electric vehicle will begin testing in Munich, Germany, this summer. It marks a milestone for Volkswagen Group and its Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand (VWCV), which plans to implement Level 4-capable autonomous driving technology for self-driving vans. Light commercial vehicles are the first, logical place for deploying autonomous transportation of people and goods.

“Our aim with the self-driving version of the ID. BUZZ is to facilitate commercial deployment of transport and delivery services starting in 2025,” said Christian Senger, divisional director at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “In select cities, customers will be able to have a self-driving vehicle take them to their destination. The delivery of goods and packages will also be made much easier through our autonomous driving service.”

To integrate the autonomous technology into the all-electric ID. BUZZ AD, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand has founded a dedicated business unit and partnered with Argo AI, the U.S.-headquartered autonomous vehicle technology platform company developing the self-driving system. Earlier this year, Argo AI integrated its self-driving system with a Volkswagen vehicle prototype to begin testing in Germany.

“We believe Argo AI has the largest urban self-driving testing footprint, with operations in six cities in the United States,” said Bryan Salesky, Founder and CEO, Argo AI. “We are excited to begin testing our self-driving system on European roads later this year, building on the initial work we’re doing now at a new test track we established next to the Munich airport.”

Both Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI regard the use of a combination of sensors – including lidar, radar and cameras – as essential for safe autonomous driving capability. Argo AI recently unveiled its new lidar sensor, Argo Lidar, which allows it to see objects from 400 meters (437 yards) away. Argo AI’s proprietary Geiger-mode lidar has the ability to detect the smallest particle of light − a single photon − which is key to sensing objects with low reflectivity. “This technology will be integrated in the self-driving system of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ autonomous driving vehicles”, Salesky said.

There are also concrete plans for the commercial use of the future technology for transport service providers. Volkswagen Group subsidiary MOIA will in 2025 become the first user of the self-driving ID. BUZZ AD. MOIA is the largest sharing provider in Hamburg, Germany, and currently employs 1.200 people.

“MOIA has extensive experience in the field of mobility services and fleet management. Within a very short time, we have set up Europe's largest, all-electric ride pooling service and provided mobility to millions of passengers,” said MOIAS’s managing director Robert Henrich. “We will bring this expertise to the cooperation with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI. Hamburg will be the first city to offer an autonomous ride pooling service with an ID. Buzz.”

About the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand:
“We transport success, freedom and future.” As a stand-alone brand within the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) is responsible for the development, construction and sales of light commercial vehicles. They include the Transporter, Caddy and Amarok ranges. Within the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also the lead brand for Autonomous Driving, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Transport as a Service (TaaS), and in future will therefore be developing and producing corresponding Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), such as robo-taxis and robo-vans. In this way we are transporting an entire society, with all its requirements for clean, intelligent and sustainable mobility. Working at the company’s sites around the globe are more than 24,000 employees, including around 15,000 at the Hannover site.

About Argo AI
Argo AI is a global autonomous vehicle technology platform company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company is developing self-driving technology in partnership with leading automakers, including Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group, to make getting around cities safe, easy, and enjoyable for all. Argo AI employs more than 1,200 people with engineering centers located in Dearborn, Michigan; Cranbury, New Jersey; Palo Alto, California; and Munich, Germany. Argo is currently testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Washington D.C., as well as in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and California. For more information regarding Argo, please visit www.argo.ai.

About MOIA
MOIA is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The company develops mobility services at its Berlin and Hamburg locations and works in partnership with cities and local public transport providers. MOIA is currently developing and implementing a ridepooling system to avoid individual car traffic and to use the road infrastructure more efficiently. Cities are relieved of traffic jams, noise and exhaust fumes. MOIA has been offering its ride pooling service in Hanover since summer 2018, with Hamburg being the first metropolis with a population of over a million to follow on April 15, 2019. More information at www.moia.io
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