Volkswagen is putting a flag in the sand on autonomy, and the automaker says light commercial vehicles are the first, logical place for deploying autonomous transportation of people and goods.
Volkswagen announced on May 12 it will deploy a Level 4-capable autonomous vehicle for the commercial transport of goods and passengers by 2025. The vehicle will use a self-driving system developed through its partnership with Argo AI in a version of the future ID. BUZZ microvan.
According to Christian Senger, head of VW’s autonomous driving unit, the automaker is conducting field trials in Germany this year, with the aim to develop a ride-hailing and pooling service.
In cooperation with Ford, VW made an initial investment of $1 billion into autonomous driving and reshuffled its business units, bringing its subsidiary AID (Autonomous Intelligent Driving) into Argo AI. “With the budget for the autonomous driving budget now confirmed by the Supervisory Board, VWCV (Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles) is taking the next significant step towards the future of autonomous mobility,” the automaker said in a statement.
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 (SPV), such as robotaxis and vans.
The all-electric ID. BUZZ will have its world premiere next year.