Self-driving versions of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz could be on the streets of Europe as robotaxis and autonomous delivery vans by the middle of the decade.
According to the automaker, Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm is targeting the “introduction of autonomous systems for traffic use in 2025” and will use the technology first on the ID.Buzz van.
The commercial variant of the ID.Buzz will employ self-driving technology developed by Argo AI, a startup in which Ford took majority control of in 2017.
As part of the growing alliance between Volkswagen and Ford, the German automaker bought into Argo in 2020, with the automakers now holding equal shares.
As well as investing US$1 billion ($1.3 billion) into the firm, Volkswagen has integrated its Autonomous Intelligent Driving division into Argo.
The ID.Buzz uses the MEB pure electric vehicle architecture that underpins the Volkswagen ID.3 hatch and ID.4 crossover, as well as the upcoming Skoda Enyaq iV and Cupra el-Born.
Due to debut in 2022 — in a form driven by humans — the ID.Buzz people mover looks to revive the spirit of the iconic Combi, and is expected to stick closely with to the design of the concept from 2017.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles debuted the Buzz Cargo concept in 2018 with a longer wheelbase, rear barn doors, and a repurposed interior.