Volkswagen to Launch Autonomous Vehicles in Texas by 2026
German automaker Volkswagen announced on Thursday its plans to launch autonomous vehicles for delivery and transportation services in Austin, Texas. The company aims to implement these plans by 2026, as reported by Reuters.
This year, Volkswagen plans to test 10 ID Buzz electric vehicles, equipped with the Mobileye autonomous driving platform, in limited areas of Austin, including the city center, with human drivers on board.
Previously, the automaker acquired Ford's autonomous vehicle division, Argo. Volkswagen took on nearly 100 employees from Argo, as well as its research center in Austin, where autonomous vehicles were being tested.
Volkswagen stated that it would leverage Mobileye's supply base and mapping data to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs.
"Our main goal is to bring fully autonomous vehicles to the market as a commercial, scalable product," said Christian Senger, a Volkswagen board member responsible for autonomous driving development.
Volkswagen joins General Motors' Cruise and Alphabet's Waymo in testing autonomous vehicles in Austin. The choice of this city is simple: Texas is known for having the least stringent regulations regarding autonomous vehicles.
"We are actively assessing different opportunities for various cities," said Catherine Lohmann, President of Volkswagen ADMT.
Companies have invested billions of dollars in developing technology that they claim will enhance road safety. However, Tesla, Cruise, Waymo, and other firms have yet to achieve their goals of launching autonomous vehicles, as their vehicles have encountered difficulties in handling rare and unpredictable situations during trips.
An autonomous vehicle is a transportation device that utilizes a combination of sensors, cameras, radars, and artificial intelligence to travel between destinations without human intervention. To be classified as fully autonomous, the vehicle must be capable of reaching a predetermined destination on roads not specifically adapted for its use without any human intervention.