Right now, it’s focused on trucks and other purposeful driving, but Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, a Volkswagen Group subsidiary, is relying on a reimagined street icon as it prepares to implement autonomous driving in actual traffic use by 2025. The platform for this advancement is Volkswagen’s ID. BUZZ, a prototype for a coming all-electric takeoff on the legendary Samba van, which is expected to make its premiere sometime next year. Field testing is beginning in Germany on the self-driving system created by Argo AI, into which Volkswagen invested a billion dollars last year to develop self-driving logic.
If you found the original Samba as appealing a piece as we do, you’ll likely welcome its revival, no matter who or what is doing the driving. The overarching strategy behind the ID. BUZZ is for the van to incorporate ride-hailing and -pooling capabilities in urban areas. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has further applied billions of euros to its in-house Car Software Organization, which will be creating autonomous programs for non-commercial vehicles – the rest of us, in other words – while the commercial group gears its work toward eventual use by such providers as robo-taxis and van services.
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Excellent stuff, Jim!