Pittsburgh-based Argo AI will begin testing self-driving Volkswagen vans in Germany this summer, its first test market outside the United States.
Why it matters: It's the first step toward launching an autonomous ride-pooling service in Europe by 2025, and eventually, in the U.S., the companies said.
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Details: VW will integrate Argo's self-driving technology into its upcoming ID. BUZZ, an electric van reminiscent of VW's iconic Type 2 Microbus.
Testing will begin soon at a dedicated test track near the Munich Airport, similar to Argo's existing test center in Pittsburgh.
The plan is to launch an autonomous ride-pooling service in Hamburg by 2025, under VW's existing mobility brand, MOIA.
Autonomous delivery service using a cargo version of the vans will be added shortly thereafter.
The services will roll out in other cities later, including in the U.S., according to officials with VW's commercial vehicles division.
My thought bubble: Those self-driving vans could arrive here just in time to serve boomers who popularized the VW Microbus in the 1970s but don't drive anymore.
Yes, but: Americans will still be able to get their hands on the steering wheel of the ID. BUZZ when it goes on sale starting in 2023.
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