VW to Begin AV Road Tests with ID.Buzz

Volkswagen will begin on-road tests of its autonomous driving technology this summer with its ID.Buzz light commercial vehicle.

The trials to be based in Munich through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles hopes to develop Level 4 autonomous technology for self-driving vans. The automaker believes LCVs Light are the first logical place for deploying autonomous transportation of people and goods.

For the integration of the technology into the all-electric ID. Buzz, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles created a dedicated business section and partnered with Argo AI that is developing the self-driving system. Unlike some automakers like Tesla, both companies say the use of a combination of sensors, including LiDAR, radar and cameras, are essential for safe autonomous driving capability. Argo recently unveiled its new lidar sensor which its claims recognizes objects from up to 400 meters (437 yards) away. Its proprietary Geiger-mode LiDAR also claims the ability to detect a single photon of light, key to sensing objects with low reflectivity. Volkswagen Group subsidiary MOIA will in 2025 become the first user of the self-driving ID. Buzz AD.

Speaking during a digital press conference, VWCV divisional director Christian Senger, said: “Our aim with the self-driving version of the ID. Buzz is to facilitate commercial deployment of transport and delivery services starting in 2025. 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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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