Cleantech & EV'sNews

VW’s rideshare arm using Apex.AI software to enable autonomous robotaxis using ID.Buzz EVs

Volkswagen Group’s rideshare mobility company MOIA announced it is using Apex.AI’s software development kit to create and implement its own passenger management system to enable a network of autonomous ID.Buzz EVs.

MOIA is a branch of Volkswagen Group founded in 2016 with a specific focus on rideshare technologies and fleet management. We first covered the company when it began developing an electric van to replace its network of combustion rideshare vehicles, which eventually evolved into plans for robotaxis.

Since 2021, MOIA has been working alongside Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to develop and implement a pilot project for autonomous rides, beginning in its native Germany before expanding to cities around the world.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also the Group entity responsible for production of the new and popular ID.Buzz, offering the perfect electric vessel for MOIA to implement and scale its autonomous rideshare network.

To ensure safety and dependability to its riders, MOIA must ensure it has the latest technology in place to manage both its fleets and the functions its autonomous ID.Buzz vehicles are performing. With the help of scalable software developer Apex.AI, MOIA hopes to have an established network of autonomous ID.Buzz EVs expanding internationally within a couple years.

Autonomous ID.Buzz
Apex.AI CEO Jan Becker (left) and MOIA CEO Sascha Meyer (right) / Credit: MOIA/Apex.AI

Autonomous ID.Buzz rides are closer than ever in Germany

The two companies shared details of a new collaboration today, in which MOIA will rely on Apex.AI’s cutting-edge software technology to enable the automation of much of its passenger interaction in the autonomous ID.Buzz EVs for the digital age.

While MOIA has its own wealth of experience in software, it says Apex.AI’s software development kit (SDK) will expedite its development process to bring a viable passenger management system to market. MOIA CEO Sascha Meyer spoke:

The acceptance of autonomous ridepooling depends to a large extent on whether people trust such a service in every situation. A high-performance passenger management system is a key prerequisite for using intelligent, self-driving vehicles to establish a mobility service that our passengers can rely on. The development of our passenger management system using Apex.AI’s middleware is the ideal basis for this.

By continuing to work with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, MOIA looks to implement its new proprietary passenger management system in ID.Buzz vehicles to ensure it can monitor and manage a myriad of functions during autonomous rides. This includes the opening and closing of doors, interior auxiliary functions, and monitoring safety systems to ensure passenger comfort. It will need to be developed with the help of Apex.AI first, of course. CEO Jan Becker also shared his thoughts:

We founded Apex.AI with the goal of establishing operating software for the autonomous era. The partnership with MOIA is a win-win: The operating system consisting of Apex.Grace and Apex.Ida is the perfect base for MOIA’s passenger management systems use cases. Both companies are working closely together to develop the product directly in agile software teams. We are excited to enable smart mobility services such as autonomous ridepooling in the future through our cooperation with MOIA.

Looking ahead, MOIA says it will develop its ID.Buzz vehicles with Volkswagen Commercial to launch Europe’s first fully-autonomous mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) network, beginning in Hamburg, Germany sometime in 2025.

Electrek’s Take

Although Volkswagen Group is touting some of the more ambitious goals for electrification from a legacy automaker, several of its marques have hit development speed bumps due to the automaker’s lackluster development progress alongside its software arm Cariad.

Developing a reliable software stack for electric vehicles is a lot easier said than done, and a huge reason why automakers like Tesla have found so much success and longevity at the top of the market. EVs themselves resemble computers more than traditional combustion vehicles, so software is absolutely crucial.

Add autonomous driving to the equation and those developers are going to want to ensure they have the most advanced, safe, and reliable tech they can get their hands on, which is where Apex.AI comes in.

I’ve covered this company several times in the past, and it could go down in history as one of the major unsung catalysts behind the scenes, helping expedite EV transitions and their adjacent technologies like autonomy. The truth is, many of these legacy automakers who have spent decades specializing in mechanical parts just don’t have the software knowledge to compete.

Apex.AI offers an all-in-one stack to help those companies transition hardware-centric reliance over to software defined vehicles – the perfect middle man. Seems like MOIA still has a ways to go before we see autonomous ID.Buzz vans driving around, but I think the company is a lot closer to market now that Apex.AI is involved. We shall see.


Author: Scooter Doll
Source: Electrek

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