Volkswagen’s autonomous ID.Buzz EVs start passenger transport in Germany, marking a significant leap in autonomous driving technology.
Autonomous ID.Buzz EVs start transporting passengers in Germany.
Volkswagen’s new US hub for autonomous rides is Austin, Texas.
Autonomous driving tests focus on urban center operations.
Volkswagen has made strides in autonomous driving technology with its ID.Buzz electric vans now carrying passengers in Germany, a pivotal move in the autonomous driving industry in Europe.
The autonomous ID.Buzz EVs, a product of Volkswagen’s innovative efforts, were first announced in May. This was made possible through the combined efforts of MOIA, Volkswagen’s rideshare division in Europe, and Apex.AI, who collaborated to design a passenger management system for the fleet.
MOIA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles kick-started a pilot project in 2021 with a focus on autonomous rides. The project was rolled out first in Germany, with plans to extend to cities globally. Munich was the first city to implement this project, with a similar pilot following in Austin, Texas in July.
Austin is now the central hub for Volkswagen’s autonomous rides in the US, signaling plans for further expansion in the country. Meanwhile, Munich holds the reins for Volkswagen’s robotaxi operations in Europe and has started carrying human passengers.
As Volkswagen’s autonomous EV fleet under the MOIA brand prepares for commercial operations, it has started transporting passengers in Munich. The initial autonomous driving tests are being conducted in urban centers, which led to the selection of Munich and Austin.
Volkswagen has disclosed that MOIA will be the first to operate its autonomous vehicles. The data from these rides will assist in refining the technology and planning its commercial network. However, Volkswagen plans to delegate operations to external companies in the US in the future.
Christian Senger, a board member at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles overseeing autonomous driving, stated that expanding the autonomous vehicle program to North America is a significant step in their global strategy, made possible by long-term investments. The next few weeks will see continued autonomous rides in Munich, alongside expansion in the US.