After much wait, 2022 will be the year the Volkswagen Microbus revival will occur. And, with that, there will be autonomous capabilities.
The announcement was made on March 1, which marked five years since the concept presentation at the Detroit Auto Show in 2017. Riding the current wave of nostalgia, the Germany-based automaker said it would add an autonomous feature to the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, bringing it solidly into the 21st century. The production version of the microbus will be available next year, but the model is not slated to be ready for purchase in the U.S. until 2022. This was revealed in a recent interview the VW U.S. CEO, Scott Keogh, had with Automotive News.Read More »
If one thing is clear, it is that this VW model will be making great strides in the inclusion of self driving technology. After the company made an investment in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle startup company, it said it intends to use a version of it in the final ID.Buzz.
The ultimate goal, elaborated VW, is to also develop a ride-hailing and pooling concept, with 2025 the end goal for people being able to take these as a new form of taxi.
What else do we know about the microbus rollout?
The model will come to Germany first, next year. After staggering the rollout across Europe, an early 2023 U.S. launch is cautiously optimistic. The microbus is slated to be produced at a factory located in Hanover, Germany. An upcoming electric van that will be used for commercial purposes will be produced in the same factory. The skepticism many car and vehicle fans have surrounding the rollout is due to the fact VW needs to rework elements of the factory to cater to electric vehicle production. Both passenger and cargo versions are in production and the releases may overlap due to manufacturing delays due to COVID-19 and the rehaul needed of the factory.
When will it actually be sold? Only time will tell.
What do VW fans think of the proposed rollout?
Opinions from the car fan community are mixed. While people are mostly excited about the ID.Buzz, most are questioning whether it will see the light of day. WV has a history of making promises and debuting concepts, only for them to not actually make them. Others were thrilled at the idea of a van with more modern features. Some were excited about the self-driving features and others were scared. On another hand, a handful of fans on a recent comment thread said they would buy one if they were available today. This largely optimistic crowd will have to see with the rest of us if it ever comes to fruition. One thing they hope it does not include? A steering wheel that is hard to use, like what has been included in new VW models.