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Here’s why you might be able to smoke a joint in the 2025 ‘Hippie Kombi’

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Volkswagen says it wants to make autonomous vehicles available to the public in selected cities by the middle of this decade.

Volkswagen ID Buzz concept.

HANOVER, GERMANY – While the original Type 1 ‘Hippie Kombi’ is stereotypically associated with a smoky interior, driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance is dangerous and illegal no matter how you look at it. However, that might not apply to Volkswagen’s upcoming ID. Buzz electric bus, which was inspired by the aforementioned 1950s bus, because by 2025 there will be a version that drives itself, completely.

Volkswagen says it wants to make autonomous vehicles available to the public in selected cities by the middle of this decade, and the first vehicle to get the autonomous capability will be the upcoming ID. Buzz.

This was confirmed on Monday by VW’s head of autonomous driving Christian Senger, who added that the company would start field trials this year, featuring the Argo AI self-driving system. The aim is to develop a ride-hailing and pooling concept similar to what MOIA offers today, Senger said.

Autonomous systems for traffic use are currently being prepared by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for introduction in 2025.

But while the fully-autonomous ID. Buzz will only be introduced mid-decade, a non-autonomous version will be launched in 2022. The upcoming electric bus will be based on the ID. Buzz concept of 2017, which was inspired by the original Type 1 ‘Hippie Kombi’ of the 1950s.

“With the confirmation of the group’s supervisory board for our Autonomous Driving R&D program, we are setting the course for the future of mobility,” said VW Commercial Vehicles board member Carsten Intra.

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen’s electric ID. Buzz concept vehicle is displayed during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 9, 2017. Picture: Reuters, Brendan McDermid, File Photo

“Autonomous, electric driving will make an important contribution to urban mobility and road safety. Our vehicles are the logical first choice to apply such systems to”.

Volkswagen is also working on ‘Level 4’ (highly, but not fully, autonomous) driving systems through the Car.Software Organisation. However until your ride has Level 5 (full) autonomy, you might want to leave that aforementioned Buzz for when you get home.

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