The upcoming Volkswagen ID Buzz is already a big deal. It revives retro design with its Microbus-inspired appearance, but that isn’t the only headliner. VW has confirmed it will offer an autonomous variant of battery-electric as well. Volkswagen is previewing the autonomous ID Buzz in the above rendering.
Volkswagen says the ID Buzz will serve as the basis for the first autonomous vehicles it intends to test on public roads. These tests will commence later this year with ID Buzz prototypes. However, VW is also asserting it will have autonomous models out in 2025. One of the first commercial applications of autonomous vehicles will likely be in the automaker’s ride-sharing program, which it operates in a couple German cities.
At least some of the technology on the autonomous ID Buzz will be based on Argo AI’s technology. VW has an equity state in Argo AI as part of the company’s broader alliance with Ford Motor Company.
An ancillary benefit to the autonomous ID Buzz rendering is that we get a glimpse of the production car. The rendering depicts an ID Buzz that mostly retains the concept’s original quirkiness, which is a good thing. It does add more production-ready bits, such as a normalized lower air dam and slightly larger headlights. Of course, the autonomous variant adds elements like LiDAR sensors and a large dome on the roof. It goes without saying the normal ID Buzz won’t house those oddities.
It feels like we’ve been talking about the ID Buzz for years (wait, we have!). VW is expected to finally reveal the production version sometime next year.