VW’s ID. Buzz-Based Self-Driving Robotaxi Will Differ Significantly From Customer Model
The upcoming autonomous vehicle that Volkswagen is basing on the recently released ID. Buzz all-electric van will be significantly different than the vehicle it will sell to private customers.
That’s according to Carsten Intra, the head of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, who recently spoke to Automobilewoche. Although the car will be based on the ID. Buzz, it won’t necessarily be identical to it.
“This will not be an evolution of the ID. Buzz, but really a special purpose vehicle,” Intra said.
Unlike the ID. Buzz, which is aimed at private customers, the autonomous vehicle will be aimed at larger clients. Whether or not it will have any driver inputs, such as a steering wheel and pedals, is “an exciting question,” according to Intra. The autonomous vehicle could be better optimized for four passengers and luggage than the ID. Buzz. Intra would not comment on what the vehicle will look like, though.
“We are still in the concept phase, it’s not ready yet,” Intra said. “We’re going to need a big jump and not just bring the ID. Buzz forward.”
Volkswagen has long been testing autonomous technology for its electric vehicles. It has partnered with Argo AI in its pursuit of driverless vehicles and wants to establish shuttle services and self-driving delivery services worldwide, in the long term.
First, though, the ID. Buzz will be launched as robotaxis in Hamburg in 2025. By 2030, the automaker wants to have autonomous services in 50 cities in Europe and North America. On that latter continent, Intra said that collaborations with Uber and Lyft are conceivable whereas on the former VW wants to offer the services itself.