USA TODAY International Edition
Volkswagen’s revived van gets self- driving features
Electric van will mix new tech and nostalgia
The long- awaited return of VW’s microbus will happen in 2022, and it’s electric.
The long- awaited revival of the Volkwagen microbus will finally happen in 2022, and it’ll apparently include some form of autonomous driving capability.
VW confirmed Monday that it plans to debut its new electric van next year, which would be a half- decade after a concept version made a splash at the 2017 Detroit auto show.
The German automaker announced it will integrate autonomous driving technology into the Volkswagen ID. Buzz, making it a 21st- century callback to an era filled with nostalgia.
While the production version of the van is set to be revealed in 2022, VW U. S. CEO Scott Keogh recently told Automotive News that the ID. Buzz won’t be available for sale in the U. S. until 2023.
The concept vehicle’s much- heralded debut comes in the early stages of a trend called # vanlife, in which people travel the country living out of their vans, by choice. The trend has taken off during the pandemic as Americans take advantage of remote- work options.
When it made its debut as a concept vehicle, the VW ID. Buzz was said to have a range of up to 270 miles per charge. It’s unclear whether that figure will stick.
On Monday, VW said the vehicle would make “groundbreaking” strides on self- driving technology. The company recently invested in autonomous vehicle technology startup Argo AI and plans to test it this year in “a version of ” the ID. Buzz.
“The aim is to develop a ride- hailing and pooling concept,” VW said. “In the middle of this decade, our customers will then have the opportunity to be taken to their destination in selected cities with autonomous vehicles.”