Volkswagen has shown the ID.Buzz AD1 prior to the IAA Mobility event. The abbreviation AD stands for autonomous driving in English. The German manufacturer is working with the company Argo AI to develop this autonomous driving van.
Argo AI writes that this self-driving ID.Buzz will be the first vehicle of the Volkswagen Group to have level 4 autonomy. This is a category for autonomous driving that indicates a high degree of automation. In addition, the system can intervene itself if the driver does not react to an unexpected traffic event. The classification was made by the SAE, an association of technical companies in the automotive sector, among others.
The ID.Buzz AD is currently being tested on an Argo AI test track at the Franz Josef Strauss International Airport in Munich. In the short term, the vehicle will also be found on the streets of this German city. The aim is to achieve self-driving, commercially deployable vans of this type in the city of Hamburg. This must be done in 2025 via VW subsidiary MOIA, a mobility as a service provider.
The test track in Munich
To make this possible, Argo says it is expanding its activities in Munich and is now in the process of integrating the self-driving system into the vehicle, learning, implementing new iterations and making further progress. The team in Munich received the test vehicle early this year, after which a process began to integrate the hardware and software for the autonomous driving system.
An image from the so-called Argo Lidar. According to the company, this is a new type of lidar that enables the ID.Buzz vehicle to detect objects at a distance of more than 400 meters.
According to Argo AI, the ID-Buzz has the advantage of a large roof compared to regular cars, which offers a lot of flexibility for integrating lidar and other sensors, such as cameras and radar. According to Argo AI, the cameras and radar are placed in a kind of tiara around the lidar.
The regular, non-autonomously driving, electric ID.Buzz has not yet been officially released. That should happen sometime next year. This vehicle will have batteries ranging from 48 to 111 kWh.