Volkswagen has released a rendering of its 2025 self-driving car, which will be based on the ID. Buzz electric vehicle platform, which itself is a re-imagining of the iconic VW Bus. The autonomy software stack will come from Argo, which Volkswagen partially owns.
A major notable feature of this vehicle is that it is uni-directional with front-facing seats. In this respect, it resembles Waymo’s active driverless vehicles, which are based on the FCA Pacifica minivan platform, and the Jaguar I-PACE SUV platform. In contrast, both Cruise and Zoox have announced new vehicle platforms, specifically designed for autonomy, that are bi-directional, with no front or rear.
Just as the original automobiles were “horseless carriages”, designed to resemble horse-drawn carriages, it makes sense both that early self-driving vehicles would resemble traditional automobiles, and also that we will soon find form-factors more conducive to a driverless vehicle. What that more conducive form factor is, remains to be decided.