Volkswagen has shared more details of the VW ID.Buzz, one of the first five self-driving test vehicles produced by the Group.
The ID.Buzz is scheduled to be deployed in commercial mobility services such as MOIA beginning in 2025. Munich is also the European headquarters of partner Argo AI, the global autonomous driving technology company developing the self-driving system (SDS), including maps, hardware, software, and cloud-support infrastructure that powers the ID.Buzz AD.
Argo is actively testing in many urban areas, also in Munich with the ID. Buzz AD prototypes. The Argo self-driving system comprises a suite of sensors, software, and the computer platforms to provide a 360-degree awareness of the vehicle’s environment, predict the actions of pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles, and direct the engine, braking, and steering systems so that the vehicle moves safely and naturally, like an experienced driver.
The company uses cameras, radar, and lidar to achieve safe self-driving, with its proprietary sensor, the Argo Lidar, sitting high on the roof of the vehicles to detect objects from a distance of more than 400 meters (1300 ft.).
Its patented Geiger-mode technology has the ability to detect even the smallest particles of light (a single photon), so that even objects with low reflectivity, like black-painted vehicles, can be detected.
Testing of the ID. Buzz AD occurs in collaboration with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at the Argo AI development centre in Neufahrn, near Munich. Argo also has a nine-hectare closed-course near the Munich airport to test a variety of traffic situations unique to European driving conditions, in addition to their test track in the United States.
Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI, commented: “The ID. BUZZ AD test fleet represents a milestone in our partnership with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Building on our five years of development and learnings from our operations in large, complex U.S. cities, we are excited to soon begin testing on the streets of Munich in preparation for the launch of the self-driving commercial ridepooling service with MOIA.”
As well as Volkswagen and Argo, MOIA is the third component for an autonomous mobility service. MOIA has set up Europe’s largest, all-electric ride pooling service with drivers, and as of 2025, MOIA will be the first user of the ID.Buzz AD. The self-driving ID.Buzz AD will bring its passengers to their destination in a ridepooling service operated by MOIA. The media guests who use the MOIA transport service – with drivers – for “New Auto Night” get a taste of this.