Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV), Moia and Argo AI have unveiled plans for Europe’s first autonomous ride pooling project involving the all-electric VW ID. Buzz AD. The goal is to launch the ride pooling system in Hamburg by 2025 with an international outlook.
Together, the three companies are developing all the necessary components to make driverless ride-pooling operational. VWCV is already working on making the ID.Buzz AD with AD standing for autonomous driving. Argo AI is charged with programming the self-driving system and adding hardware capable of providing a 360-degree awareness around the vehicle so the companies. Moia will then provide the actual ride pooling service using the new autonomous electric vehicles.
The joint project announced in Hamburg – a city known for its e-mobility advances – does not come out of the blue. On the contrary, VW has been a longstanding mobility partner for Hamburg, running both the Moia and WeShare services there.
When commenting on today’s plans to introduce autonomous shuttles, Christian Senger, Head of Autonomous Driving at VWCV, explained, “In Hamburg, we are laying the foundations for the development and testing of technologies and operational processes along the multi-layered value chain of a mobility service.”
To start with, Argo AI will begin to map the streets of the test area in Q4 2021 to create three-dimensional maps. On completion of the initial testing and development phase, VW, MOIA, and Argo will conduct test drives with and without passengers before public operation in 2025.
Hamburg, however, is not the only project where VWCV has implicated the self-driving ID.Buzz AD. The company and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) are running a much tighter timeline in Qatar. They plan to set up a fleet of autonomous buses for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha. Project Qatar Mobility is to include 35 ID.Buzz, all self-driving, however, on partially fixed routes in the Westbay area. Moia is on board there as well.
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