Argo AI and Volkswagen debut ID. BUZZ AD self-driving van

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Argo AI and its partner Volkswagen have debuted the first-generation ID. BUZZ AD self-driving test van at this year’s IAA.

The vehicle combines a retro-futuristic design with powerful technology including SAE Level 4 automation capabilities.

ID. BUZZ AD is currently being tested on Argo’s new closed-course track at Franz Josef Strauss International Airport in Munich but will “soon” be deployed on public streets in the city.

Currently, the goal is to begin operating commercial services in the city of Hamburg in 2025. Autonomous ride-pooling services will be run by VW subsidiary MOIA.

Argo AI first received the base vehicle from VW earlier this year before getting to work integrating all of its own hardware and software for the self-driving capabilities.

The company uses an innovative form of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for its self-driving capabilities that it gained through acquiring Princeton Lightwave back in 2017. The result is a sensor believed to be the industry’s longest-distance sensing range capability of 400 meters.

“Argo Lidar takes us to a whole new level of self-driving technology, unlocking our ability to power both delivery and ride-hail services,” said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI. 

Earlier this year, Argo AI announced a separate collaboration with Lyft and Ford with the intention to launch self-driving vehicles on the former’s network by the end of 2021.

“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,“ Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green said. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”

Argo AI has a second test track in Western Pennsylvania that, combined with its Munich test track, enables it to test vehicles 24/7.

(Image Credit: Argo AI)

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