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VW to start testing fleet of self-driving Argo AI-equipped ID Buzz vans within months

VW to start testing fleet of self-driving Argo AI-equipped ID Buzz vans within months

Volkswagen will begin testing its Argo AI-powered autonomous vehicle service in Germany within the next few months, with a view to launch an autonomous commercial delivery and ride-share service by 2025.

The German manufacturer will use its own ID.Buzz vans fitted with technology from US-based start-up company Argo AI. Both Volkswagen and Ford back the hardware and software outfit to create autonomous vehicle tech, following the two automakers’ global alliance which also includes platform sharing of the next-generation Amarok and Ranger utes.

Argo has been testing its autonomous vehicles within the United States for a number of years now, though this latest development will see Volkswagen deploy fifth-generation tech upon German roads throughout the northern hemisphere summer – or Australia’s winter.

Earlier this year, Argo and VW developed a prototype that used VW’s MEB electric vehicle architecture underneath an existing T6 Transporter. It included LIDAR, radar and cameras which allow the AI to ‘see’ the environment and plan for next steps. According to Argo’s founder and CEO Bryan Salesky, this allows for automated driving at low and high speeds.

“We’re building our technology and partnering with Volkswagen in a way that really sets us apart from what others are doing,” Salesky said. “And we think it really puts us in a position to deliver a safe, smart, and scalable product to deliver on the promise of autonomous driving.”

VW intends to put the next-generation autonomous-equipped ID.Buzz vans into its Moia ride-sharing fleet in Hamburg, Germany. To date, Moia has operated a fleet of electric vehicles that has served three million customers. However, the next goal is to develop these rides into an autonomous experience.

It is understood that the Argo tech-equipped ID.Buzz models will operate at Level Four autonomous capability which means drivers will not have to touch the steering wheel, but the vehicles can only operate autonomously under certain conditions. Volkswagen has set itself a goal of bringing these autonomous ID.Buzz ride-share vans by 2025.

Source: www.drive.com.au

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