VW has initiated its autonomous driving tests, marking a significant milestone in self-driving technology. The tests involve the transportation of passengers, including government representatives, public authority figures, business executives, and journalists in Munich. Additionally, Volkswagen is conducting identical tests using the Volkswagen ID. Buzz prototypes in North America.
Why It Matters
The advancement in Volkswagen’s self-driving vehicle technology signifies a noteworthy shift in the transport and mobility sector. The tests are instrumental in studying various traffic scenarios on public roads and test sites. The development is primarily focused on the ID. Buzz’s commercial application in urban centers across Europe and North America for ridesharing and transport services.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz, a level 4 self-driving vehicle according to the SAE standard, integrates mass production technology with a self-driving system from technology company, Mobileye. Each vehicle is equipped with state-of-the-art lidar, radar, and camera technology. The large-capacity model accommodates four passengers and can be mass-produced upon reaching series production readiness. The launch of the testing program in Texas is another step in the Volkswagen Group’s global research and development strategy for autonomous vehicles.
Furthermore, Christian Senger, a board member responsible for autonomous driving development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, emphasized that the expansion of their autonomous vehicle program to North America is a part of their global strategic roadmap. This move is expected to help Volkswagen refine its technology based on the diverse driving scenarios encountered on American roads.
The ongoing tests with the all-electric ID. Buzz vehicles underscore Volkswagen’s commitment to furthering autonomous driving technology. These endeavors are expected to lead to the establishment of commercially available transport services and enrich the Volkswagen Group’s mobility portfolio. Leveraging the expertise gained from the successful operation of the Group’s ridesharing subsidiary, MOIA, which has transported over 8.5 million passengers since 2019, Volkswagen aims to meet growing mobility and transport requirements in an innovative and efficient way. The use of external companies for autonomous driving services in the US signifies an important step towards mainstream adoption and integration of self-driving technology in the global transport sector.