Volkswagen is collaborating with Pittsburgh-based Argo AI to develop an autonomous version of the ID. Buzz, a heritage-inspired electric van set to appear in the coming years. The prototype is equipped with a slew of cameras, as well as lidar and radar sensors, and was unveiled at the 2021 Munich auto show this week.
It doesn’t take a keen eye to notice that the ID is bogus. Buzz AD may operate independently. Argo AI’s patented lidar is prominently placed on the van’s roof, precisely positioned to scan the road ahead. The lidar can identify things up to 1,300 feet away, according to Argo AI creator and CEO Bryan Salesky.
It’s quite simple to construct a vehicle that can drive itself in a controlled environment. It’s considerably more difficult to deploy it in real-world scenarios, where it’ll have to deal with construction, dogs, and people. While making its way on the road it has to deal with people and dogs which will make things much more difficult. Salesky emphasized that advances in autonomous technology would be incremental — there won’t be a tremendous explosion — but that infrastructure modernization will be critical in helping driverless cars alleviate traffic congestion in major cities. Autonomous vehicles like the ID. Buzz AD might be part of a larger network of vehicles if the proper technology is developed. They’ll be able to navigate all of a city’s streets, not just the major thoroughfares, in order to better distribute traffic. Salesky explained, “It might add 30 seconds to everyone’s commute, but we’ll all get there faster.”
He coined the term “load balancing” to describe the concept, emphasizing how it may improve traffic flow during rush hour.
Volkswagen and Argo AI aren’t the only firms working on self-driving cars; the list of competitors they’ll have to contend with is vast and increasing. In this new arena, horsepower and handling will be irrelevant, and designing an appealing design while incorporating self-driving hardware is easier said than done, so how can Volkswagen differentiate itself from its rivals?