Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, a standalone VW brand responsible for the development and sales of light commercial vehicles, and Argo AI, an autonomous driving technology company, unveiled the first version of the ID Buzz AD (Autonomous Driving) mobility solution.
From an article in Tech Crunch by Rebecca Bellan.
The two companies shared plans to test and commercially scale the jointly developed, fully electric self-driving van over the next four years at the VW night event ahead of the 2021 IAA Mobility Event in Munich. Testing of the prototype, one of the first five planned test vehicles, has already begun and will continue at Argo’s development center in Neufahrn, near Munich, as well as at Argo’s nine-hectare closed course near the Munich airport, which tests for a variety of traffic situations unique to European driving conditions, and Argo’s test track in the United States.
“Building on our five years of development and learnings from our operations in large, complex U.S. cities, we are excited to soon begin testing on the streets of Munich in preparation for the launch of the self-driving commercial ride-pooling service with MOIA,” said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI, in a statement.
In 2025, MOIA, a subsidiary of the VW Group that works with cities and local public transport providers on mobility solutions, will be commercially launching the ID Buzz in Hamburg as part of a self-driving ride-pool system. The ride-pool service is designed to leverage the power of autonomous systems to relieve inner-city congestion.
At the event, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which has developed a separate businesses unit devoted to autonomous driving and acquired a stake in Argo AI, demonstrated how ride-pooling via a self-driving system can help with managing traffic flows.
“An environment recognition system from six lidar, eleven radar and 14 cameras, distributed over the entire vehicle, can capture much more than any human driver can from his seat,” said Christian Senger, head of autonomous driving at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
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