Volkswagen intends to use self-driving shuttles for the Group's own Moia transport service in Hamburg in just a few years. The car manufacturer announced that the first series-ready electric van, the ID.Buzz, will be rolling on the streets of the Hanseatic city with this technology from 2025. Then they want to have made the transition from a pilot operation to commercial use of the vehicles, says Christian Senger, who heads the development of autonomous driving in the VW commercial vehicle division.
A safety driver remains on board until the legal requirements for fully automated driving (level 4) have been created and the law on passenger transport has been adapted.
Offer is to be expanded worldwide
After the start in Hamburg, the offer is to be expanded worldwide. Customers should then be able to be taken to their destination in selected cities in autonomous vehicles. The technology is currently being tested at six locations in the USA. Tests are also to begin soon on a rented site near Munich Airport. Last year, Volkswagen acquired a stake in the Ford subsidiary Argo AI, which is developing autonomous driving.
VW is currently driving development in this area. In the future, e-cars equipped with a combination of special camera systems, radar sensors and lasers will drive independently through large cities and transport both people and goods. The aim is to develop its own business area with which Volkswagen earns money in addition to selling cars.
At the same time as self-driving vans in the VW commercial vehicle division, Volkswagen is working on driver assistance systems and robotics for cars at the software subsidiary Cariad. Coordinating all of this should be one of the tasks of the IT executive that the group is currently looking for. (Reuters)