A Renewed Push to Make a Mark on the AV Space

Human beings are known for a myriad of things, but most importantly, they are known for getting better on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve, no matter the situation, has empowered the world to clock some huge milestones, with technology emerging as quite a major member of the group. The reason why we hold technology in such a high regard is, by and large, predicated upon its skill-set, which guided us towards a reality that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface for a second, it will become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component, in fact, did a lot to give the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and as a result, initiate a full-blown tech revolution. Of course, this revolution eventually went on to scale up the human experience through some outright unique avenues, but even after achieving a feat so notable, technology will somehow continue to bring forth the right goods. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and assuming one new discovery ends up with the desired impact, it will only put that trend on a higher pedestal moving forward.

Automotive giant, Volkswagen has officially announced the intention to start testing autonomous vehicle in the US. According to certain reports, the company will begin this operation with its ID Buzz electric microbus, and as for location, it has picked the city of Austin to at least witness the early stages. To support the whole experiment in an efficient manner, Volkswagen has also setup a new dedicated subsidiary called Volkswagen ADMT. This subsidiary is expected to bear the responsibility of supervising, for the first phase, a deployment of 10 ID Buzz microbuses. The stated microbuses, on their part, will be equipped with autonomous driving software, software which Volkswagen has developed in collaboration with Mobileye, the driver-assist sensor and software company owned by Intel. Apart from that, the fleet will also have sensors like cameras, radar, and lidar, and they all will be complimented by a trained safety driver behind the wheel.

“Expanding our autonomous vehicle program to the North American Region is the next step in our global strategic roadmap, and the result of a long-term collaborative investment,” said Christian Senger, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “Moving into this next phase will help us test, validate and refine technology, bring us closer to establishing commercially available transportation offerings and eventually grow the diverse mobility portfolio for the Volkswagen Group.”

The move from Volkswagen follows up on the company’s polarizing decision to pull back funding for Argo AI, the self-driving startup that had planned on launching robotaxi services in the US. While the loss of crucial finances caused Argo AI to wind up, the company’s core staff would form the workforce of what we now know as Volkswagen ADMT division. This, however, hasn’t been the only unfortunate AV development faced by the company. In 2019, Volkswagen also broke off its partnership with Aurora Innovation, but of course, it will now hope to turn a corner. Rounding off relevant details is the company’s plan to expand the test in question to other US cities over the course of next three years before finally launching a robotaxi in 2026.

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