In somewhat of a throwback to the 70’s, Qatar have struck a deal with Volkswagen to implement a public transport system made up of autonomous VW shuttles in the capital city of Doha by the end of 2020.
The deal states a total of 35 autonomous vehicles, or ID Buzz vans as they’re more commonly known will carry a total of four passengers per vehicle while traveling on fixed routes in the West Bay area of Doha. VW’s MOIA (Sanskrit for Magic) and Audi’s AID (Autonomous Intelligent Driving) will be charged with running the software needed to control the automated service.
— Volkswagen UK (@UKVolkswagen) September 12, 2017
The ID Buzzes are scheduled to hit the roads of Doha in 2022, with closed testing taking place at the start of 2020, and trials starting mid 2021, provided there are no setbacks.
QIA CEO Mansoor Al Mahmoud said in a statement “For our cities to progress we need a new wave of innovation. AI-enabled, emission-free transportation technologies will help advance urban mobility, while diminishing congestion and improving energy efficiency.”
The fleet of autonomous vehicles will integrated into Dohas existing transport system, with Scania buses tasked with handling much larger groups of people.
Feature image: Twitter/@digitalnxd