Volkswagen AG is set to begin testing its autonomous vehicles on public roads in Austin, Texas, starting this month.
According to Volkswagen (VOW, -2.85%), the test program will initially involve two vehicles in July and will later expand to a fleet of 10 ID Buzz electric vans by the end of the year. The company aims to expand the program’s coverage in Austin over the next three years and subsequently introduce it in at least four more U.S. cities. Volkswagen plans to commercially launch its autonomous vehicles in Austin by 2026.
Equipped with cutting-edge autonomous-driving technology, developed by Volkswagen and Mobileye (MBLY, +1.73%), the test vehicles will feature cameras, radar, and lidar technology. During the initial phase, human drivers will supervise the operation of these vehicles.
Pablo Di Si, the President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, expressed the significance of this launch, stating that it “marks an important milestone for us.”
Volkswagen Brings Autonomous Vehicles to Austin
Volkswagen Group of America has announced its plans to introduce autonomous vehicles to the streets of Austin, Texas. The German automaker’s iconic ID Buzz will be at the forefront of this venture, offering a reliable and captivating transportation service that American consumers can trust.
Austin was specifically chosen as the testing ground for these autonomous vehicles due to its reputation for embracing innovation and its conducive climate for such endeavors. Volkswagen’s president, Katrin Lohmann, expressed the company’s commitment to maintaining an open and collaborative dialogue with the city and its diverse stakeholders throughout this process.
This move by Volkswagen is just the beginning of a global strategy, as the company aims to provide fleets of autonomous vehicles as a comprehensive service to other businesses. However, it is important to note that Volkswagen currently has no plans to develop a dedicated ride-hailing or ride-sharing service at this time.
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Volkswagen’s Venture into Autonomous Driving in Austin
Volkswagen has recently made its entry into the autonomous driving space in Austin, Texas. Joining the ranks of industry stalwarts like Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise, this move further solidifies the city as a hub for cutting-edge self-driving technology.
With Alphabet’s GOOG, -1.39% GOOGL, -1.35% Waymo and GM’s GM, +0.10% Cruise already operating in Austin, Volkswagen’s presence adds a new dimension to the bustling autonomous-driving scene in the area.
As the race for developing and perfecting autonomous vehicles continues to intensify, Volkswagen’s foray into this domain signifies its commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation. With their own unique approach and expertise, we can expect to see Volkswagen making significant strides in the autonomous driving sector.
Despite the competition, there is also an increasing emphasis on collaboration among these companies. This spirit of cooperation is fostering an environment where advancements can be made collectively, ultimately benefiting the industry as a whole.
As more businesses flock to Austin to explore the potential of self-driving technology, the city’s reputation as a hotbed of autonomous driving innovation only grows stronger. The arrival of Volkswagen adds another exciting chapter to Austin’s autonomous future.