VW Unveils Autonomous Mobile Workstation

 

Many car manufacturers at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show were overshadowed by Rivian as it unveiled its new all-electric SUV and truck. If the company wants to be the Tesla of trucks, it certainly achieved the feat by stealing the headlines.

But Volkswagen (VW) also made a number of debuts at the show, most of which flew under the radar — including a new e-Bike concept, the company's last Beetle model, and the new I.D. BUZZ CARGO, an emission-free panel van concept based on an electrified version of the old Volkswagen Transporter, one of the most recognizable vehicles in history.

According to the company, the concept could enter production by 2022, drastically changing the light commercial vehicle market. Designed with the I.D. Pilot mode, the van can be fully autonomous and can cover a range of up to 340 miles on a single charge using the 111 kWh battery, although the 48 kWh battery is recommended for standard routes.

The battery can be charged to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes, and the company is currently working on adding wireless charging capability. However, topping out at 99 mph, the vehicle wasn't built for speed.

According to VW, the autopilot mode can be activated while you're driving the van. The driver simply pushes on the steering wheel, which then folds into the panel.

In today's exploding e-commerce and home delivery market, the van could cut down on operating costs while reducing a company's delivery carbon footprint.

The concept also includes a number of upgrades to the interior, which has been outfitted for commercial use. Key upgrades include a digital cargo system that can manage inventory, and the ability to power tools. Ultimately, the new vehicle is designed to be less of a van and more of a mobile workshop.

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