When will our vehicles drive autonomously? Elon Musk plans to put the first fully self-driving cars on the road in the near future. It’s an announcement that has caused not only admiration, but also skepticism – after all, until now, we’ve always been told we’re a long way from autonomous cars.
Now this week, Volkswagen has also unveiled their autonomous strategy, announcing that they plan to bring self-driving cars to German roads by 2025. This goes further than their original announcement, as they specifically want to implement this strategy in the form of the Moia electric ride-hailing shuttle.
The shuttle is expected to achieve a Level 4 autonomy level (read more about levels here), which according to the general chart means it can maneuver through traffic without much human intervention. The strategy, Wolfsburg officials said, is a major digitization leap that should put VW ahead of the competition.
Private vehicles, they said during the digital conference where the strategy was unveiled, won’t play as big a role for now.
“Our goal is to enable commercial deployments in driving and delivery services with the autonomous version of the ID Buzz starting in 2025,” Christian Senger, head of autonomous driving at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
In their project, in which they have brought Argo AI on board, among others, safety plays a particularly important role. With lidar scanners, which in contrast to radar process light waves, they want to optimally equip the autonomous shuttles to detect possible obstacles or problems even over long distances.
VW subsidiary Moia, which has been chosen for the pilot project, already has a number of Volkswagen prototypes on display and wants to use its autonomous newcomer to expand its business and bring it to maximum operational efficiency. The autonomous shuttle services are intended to relieve inner cities of traffic and give passengers the best possible exposure to the new technology.
Post picture: Volkswagen