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Testing Begins for Self-Driving VW ID.Buzz Vans in the United States

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Volkswagen Group is currently in the process of developing autonomous electric vans called Volkswagen ID.Buzz for use in robotaxi services. Prototypes of these vans have recently begun testing in the United States.

To initiate the testing phase, Volkswagen has deployed ten prototypes of the shorter global version of the ID.Buzz in Austin, Texas. The company aims to introduce self-driving ID.Buzz vans into a robotaxi service by 2026 in Austin During the testing period, each vehicle will have a safety engineer present.

Volkswagen Group does not intend to operate its own robotaxi service in the US. Instead, the company plans to provide self-driving vans, along with fleet management and remote guidance services, to other mobility-focused firms.

ID.Buzz Vans in the United States

In addition to the US testing, Volkswagen has been conducting tests with a separate fleet in Germany for the past few years.

Since the initial announcement of testing self-driving ID.Buzz vans in the US, Volkswagen has faced delays in releasing retail versions of the ID.Buzz.  The US version will feature a long-wheelbase model, which is already available in other markets.

The company has now partnered with Intel’s Mobileye self-driving technology company. Additionally, Volkswagen is developing self-driving technology through its Cariad software business and in collaboration with supplier Bosch, specifically for privately owned cars. However, the timing of its availability is uncertain.

The self-driving ID.Buzz vans are classified as Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability. This means they are capable of operating fully autonomously for extended periods, but within specific conditions, typically limited to geofenced areas. The highest level on the scale, Level 5, refers to vehicles that can function autonomously in all conditions expected of a human driver.

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