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Volkswagen and Qatar to bring self-drive shuttles to Doha

By Ramla Soni

Electric public transit project of shuttles and buses will go live by the end of 2022

Qatar and Volkswagen Group have agreed to develop a public transit system of self-driving electric shuttles and buses by 2022 for the capital city of Doha.

The agreement signed by VW Group and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) will involve four VW brands. These are Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, its shared ride service MOIA and Audi subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving.

The aim is to develop electric autonomous shuttles and buses, the legal framework, the infrastructure, as well as the ride-hailing software needed for a commercial service.

The QIA said AI-enabled, emission-free transportation would help “advance urban mobility, while diminishing congestion and improving energy efficiency”.

The project will include 35 autonomous electric ID buzz vehicles from the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unit. They will carry up to four passengers on semi-fixed routes in one area of Doha.

Another 10 Scania buses will be used for larger groups.

Closed testing of the shuttle vehicles and buses is expected to begin in 2020 with trials potentially starting in 2021. VW and QIA said the project will go live by the end of 2022.

In September Volkswagen announced the launch of its new next generation of connected cars with Volkswagen Car-Net for the model year 2020.

Further reading: UK motorists start ‘Dieselgate’ class action against Volkswagen

Further reading: Volkswagen unveils new all-electric car concept

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