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VW ID. Buzz AD

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.

Go deeper

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."

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