The Volkswagen Group is moving ahead with its autonomous driving R&D plans and targeting 2025 for the launch of its first driverless vehicle.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is working hard on developing and implementing autonomous driving. “With the confirmation of our autonomous driving R&D program, we are setting the course for the future of mobility. Autonomous, electric driving will make an important contribution to urban mobility and road safety. Our vehicles are the logical first choice to apply such systems to”, explains Carsten Intra, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The roadmap envisages putting autonomous systems on the road in 2025.
Ride hailing and ride pooling
“This year, for the first time, we are conducting trials on German roads using the same Argo AI self-driving system that will be used in the ID. BUZZ1 by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The aim is to develop a ride hailing and pooling concept similar to what MOIA offers today. In the middle of this decade, our customers will then have the opportunity to be taken to their destination in selected cities with autonomous vehicles”, adds Christian Senger, Head of Autonomous Driving.
As part of their collaboration, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have invested equally in Argo AI, a company specialized in software platforms for autonomous driving.
The goal of the investment is the development and use of autonomous driving systems. In addition to the initial investment of one billion US-Dollars, Volkswagen has also integrated its subsidiary AID (Autonomous Intelligent Driving) into Argo AI.
With the budget for autonomous driving now confirmed by the Group’s Supervisory Board, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is taking the next significant step towards the future of mobility – the commercial use of the technology in urban areas. To that end, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will develop and build Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), such as robo-taxis and vans.
In addition to the investments in Argo AI, the Group is investing billions in projects run by its own software company, the Car.Software Organisation, which develops, in parallel and independently of Argo AI, assisted and automated driving functions up to level 4 for the private mobility sector of all Volkswagen Group brands.
The new all-electric ID. BUZZ, which all the vehicles featuring Argo's self-driving system (SDS) will be based on, will have its world premiere next year. Its development is already going ahead at full speed – not only to electrify the iconic Bulli, but to transform it into a ground-breaking autonomous vehicle.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is once more demonstrating its role within the Volkswagen Group as a trailblazer for autonomous driving, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Transport as a Service (TaaS) . In doing so, it is helping to create a smarter, more sustainable future.
1) Concept car
Source: Volkswagen Newsroom