Volkswagen's Iconic Microbus is Now a Robotaxi
5 years after the car manufacturing firm - Volkswagen revealed its idea of an iconic microbus electric version, we're finally going to see it hit the road. The vehicle looks futuristic. The firm adds that the autonomous ID Buzz will serve as a full-scale commercial delivery & ride-hailing service, which it might deploy in 2025 in Germany.
Testing of ID Buzz
The firm aims to test the ID Buzz in Munich on public roads and private tracks close to the airport. The microbus had its public appearance at the IAA Mobility Event 2021, which included new-flanged BMW & Benz concepts. The vans are leveraging software & hardware created by Pittsburgh-based firm - Argo AI, backed by Volkswagen & Ford. The automobile giants formed a global alliance in 2019 to co-create self-driving & electric cars.
Volkswagen invested a staggering $2.6Bn in Argo AI, which at that time saw a rise to $7Bn. As the firm started exploring public offerings, that value raised to $12.4Bn. The autonomous ID Buzz will be fully realized Argo AV software & hardware version, including the firm's 400-meter lidar sensor range.
Ride-Sharing Fleet Under VW's Subsidiary Moia
For the past few years, Argo AI has been testing its 4th gen vehicles in cities like California, Miami, Pittsburgh, Austin, Detroit & Washington DC. In addition, the car manufacturer added that it plans to place the microbus in service as a ride-sharing fleet under its subsidiary Moia. Moia has been working on a fleet of EVs as part of its ride-sharing service since 2017.
The industry has been swiftly merging over the past year, with several organizations obtaining or collaborating with other firms. It's a crazy rush to maintain deals afloat in the lengthening time frames & steep procedural rates with little hope for revenue generation. Like most companies anticipate, robotaxi will be further down the road. Nevertheless, Argo & Volkswagen are confident in their potential to meet the deadline.
image source: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/