VW to Test Driverless ID Buzz Van With Passengers on Board | Transport Topics

March 23, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Test drives with the ID Buzz, which has been converted into a robot taxi, were launched in 2021, initially in Munich and later also in Hamburg. The results have been encouraging, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles leader Carsten Intra said. (Mobileye)

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HANOVER, Germany — Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is to test its self-driving ID Buzz AD electric van for the first time under realistic conditions and with passengers on board.

“We want to offer test drives for customers in Hamburg this year — under real conditions,” announced Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles chief executive Carsten Intra at its annual news conference in Hanover on March 21.

The company plans to start the tests in the second half of the year. Initially, however, it will only be a trial run with selected users. The service will eventually go into full operation through Volkswagen Group subsidiary Moia.

Test drives with the ID Buzz, which has been converted into a robot taxi, were launched in 2021, initially in Munich and later also in Hamburg. The results have been very encouraging, Intra said.

So far, however, the ID Buzz AD vehicles have been traveling through cities without passengers. The test operation with selected passengers is intended to determine how the service is received by normal users under real road conditions.

“If we are satisfied with the feedback, we will then open it up to everyone,” Intra said. However, this will not happen until 2026. A safety driver will initially be on board for the test drives but will only intervene in an emergency, he noted. In regular operation, the aim is to manage with no driver.

VW is working on the project with Intel subsidiary Mobileye, which is providing the self-driving technology for the electric van. The vehicle is intended exclusively for ride-sharing mobility services such as Moia.

“Our goal remains to offer affordable, sustainable mobility in major cities that is accessible to everyone,” Intra said.

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