Christian Senger, CEO of Autonomous Driving at Volkswagen, said: This year we are conducting, for the first time, field trials in Germany using the autonomous driving system developed by Argo AI using a copy of the ID Buzz.
Argo AI is a self-driving startup that Volkswagen and Ford have invested in.
Volkswagen said: The commercial use of the ID Buzz will be similar to that of the Moia, a mobility company launched in 2016 that is part of the Volkswagen Group.
Moia, which has its own electric van, is operating in shared transportation in two German cities.
Along with the announcement, Volkswagen also released a schematic diagram of an autonomous test vehicle that Germans might see on the road at any moment.
LIDAR sensors can be seen at the corners, and the roof overhang should incorporate more technology to help the truck feel its surroundings.
Level 4 autonomous driving means that the ID Buzz electric minivan will be able to operate without human intervention, but only in specific geographical areas.
Currently there is no automobile manufacturer offering this level of automation, but Honda said its next-generation Legend sedan is getting Level 3 autonomy in Japan.
GM’s Cruise began testing Level 4 autonomous vehicles in San Francisco late last year, and Waymo in 2019 expanded the availability of its fully autonomous vehicles to more customers in Phoenix.
Volkswagen announced in late 2019 that it was working with the Qatar Investment Authority to bring an autonomous electric transportation system to Doha by 2022 to supplement public transportation in the city.
The company plans to unveil the ID Buzz electric minivan in Qatar in conjunction with the World Cup events, to be used as a public transport option, while running on semi-fixed roads.