An autonomous version of the Volkswagen ID Buzz all-electric people mover has been spied inside and out during self-driving testing on a specially-designed course.
The ID Buzz is set to go on sale in other markets in late 2022, but Volkswagen is aiming to create a SAE Level 4 autonomous version by 2025.
This self-driving prototype was first shown off at the Munich motor show in September 2021 where it had a raft of cameras, radars and a LiDAR sensor.
It’s being created in partnership with US startup Argo AI, in the hopes of using the ID Buzz AD as a robotaxi on Volkswagen’s subsidiary MOIA service, an electric ride-sharing platform.
A different prototype has now been spied boasting a lighter camouflage livery, as well as undisguised headlights and partially camouflaged tail lights.
The charging port is visible on the right rear fender and the prototype is recognisable as the people mover variant due to its sliding doors on both sides and the windows along the side.
A cargo van variant, tentatively known as the ID Cargo, is also coming as a load-lugging cousin to the ID Buzz people mover.
It’s been previously spied in an incognito form featuring an all-white exterior, steel wheels and covered Volkswagen badges.
Our spy photographers also got a look at the interior of the self-driving ID Buzz AD prototype, which bears similarities to its ID.3 and ID.4 siblings in its instrument cluster, gear selector and infotainment screen.
The infotainment screen in particular even displays the ID Buzz AD prototype as an ID.3 hatchback, as can be seen in the close-up spy shot.
We expect the production version of the ID Buzz will be available with a variety of battery sizes, as well as rear- and all-wheel drive layouts.
It uses the MEB platform underpinning the ID.3 hatch and the ID.4, ID.5 and ID.6 crossovers. The architecture is also used by other brands in the Volkswagen Group, like Cupra (the Born), Skoda (the Enyaq) and Audi (the Q4 e-tron).
Volkswagen teased the regular ID Buzz at the end of the ID.5 and ID.5 GTX official reveal.
This teaser showed the ID Buzz with rainbow camouflage and looking more or less production-ready.
The ID Buzz appears to have been toned down compared to the original concept, first revealed in 2017, which was more of an homage to the original Type 2 bus.
It’s not clear when the car could actually be coming Down Under.
VW Australia has previously said it will be late 2023 or 2024 before we see the ID.4 SUV and ID.3 hatchback locally, as head office sends cars to markets where they can reduce fleet emissions and help the brand avoid huge fines.