The Volkswagen Group of America is rolling out its first autonomous vehicle test fleet in the U.S. The fleet will be based in Austin, Texas and begins operations this month. It will feature all-electric ID. Buzz vans and will complement VW’s global autonomous vehicle development.
Ten all-electric ID. Buzz vehicles kick off the VW program in Austin. These vans are outfitted with an autonomous driving (AD) platform developed by the VW Group in partnership with Mobileye. The testing will run for about three years, with the test fleet growing over that time and expanding to at least four more American cities in the process.
Volkswagen further announced plans to launch autonomous vehicles commercially in Austin by 2026 and in other cities as things progress.
“We are thrilled to bring our exciting ID. Buzz vehicles to American roads”, said Pablo Di Si, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “Expanding Volkswagen Group’s global autonomous driving vehicle program to the United States marks an important milestone for us. In the future, we will tap into rising demand for new mobility services, and with our iconic ID. Buzz, we will also offer a truly captivating product to support transportation services American consumers can rely upon and trust.”
In Austin, VWGoA will use its growing test fleet of ID. Buzz AD vehicles to collect data as miles are driven through a diversity of driving scenarios. Each of the initial SAE L4 ID. Buzz vehicles is outfitted with an autonomous driving technology platform that includes cameras, radar, and lidar technology. All vehicles will have a human driver on board to supervise throughout this initial test phase.
“We are excited and ready to roll out our autonomous pilot and test fleet in Austin”, said Katrin Lohmann, President, Volkswagen ADMT, LLC. “We selected Austin as the first U.S. hub, as the city has a track record for embracing innovation and offers a conducive climate for the testing of autonomous vehicles. We are committed to continuing an open and collaborative dialogue with the city and its diverse stakeholders.”
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.