VW, Argo AI to test self-driving shuttles in Europe
Pittsburgh-based Argo AI will begin testing self-driving Volkswagen vans in Germany this summer, its first test market outside the United States.
Why it matters: It's the first step toward launching an autonomous ride-pooling service in Europe by 2025, and eventually, in the U.S., the companies said.
Details: VW will integrate Argo's self-driving technology into its upcoming ID. BUZZ, an electric van reminiscent of VW's iconic Type 2 Microbus.
- Testing will begin soon at a dedicated test track near the Munich Airport, similar to Argo's existing test center in Pittsburgh.
- The plan is to launch an autonomous ride-pooling service in Hamburg by 2025, under VW's existing mobility brand, MOIA.
- Autonomous delivery service using a cargo version of the vans will be added shortly thereafter.
- The services will roll out in other cities later, including in the U.S., according to officials with VW's commercial vehicles division.
My thought bubble: Those self-driving vans could arrive here just in time to serve boomers who popularized the VW Microbus in the 1970s but don't drive anymore.
Yes, but: Americans will still be able to get their hands on the steering wheel of the ID. BUZZ when it goes on sale starting in 2023.