Autonomous VWs to Buzz Around Qatar by 2022

Autonomous VWs to Buzz Around Qatar by 2022

12/17/2019

A fleet of 35 autonomous ID. Buzzes will drive the people of Qatar around the nation’s capital Doha by 2022.

The announcement follows an agreement signed by VW and Qatar to develop a system of autonomous shuttles and buses to fit into the city’s public transit system.

“For our cities to progress we need a new wave of innovation,” Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor Al Mahmoud said in a statement. “AI-enabled, emission-free transportation technologies will help advance urban mobility, while diminishing congestion and improving energy efficiency.”

Along with the ID.Buzzes, there will be a further 10 Scania buses. Volkswagen will also be working with its autonomous transit subsidiary MOIA, and Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), which is an Audi-owned skunkworks.

The shuttles will likely get lots of international attention since their rollout will coincide with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, happening in Qatar.

Interestingly, VW doesn’t seem too concerned about bad press, since the Qatar World Cup has been called the most controversial ever edition of the tournament.

A September report from Amnesty International said that thousands of workers were being exploited in the construction of the tournament’s stadiums and facilities. Qatari officials, though, claim that Qatar’s exploitative labor practicing are improving.

Regardless, closed testing of the shuttles will start in 2020 with trials expected to start in 2021.

via TechCrunch

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