VW To Challenge Uber With Electric Minibus; Will These Self-Driving VW Minibuses Dominate City Streets In The Future? [VIDEO]

Dec 23, 2016 08:08 AM EST | Leonora Puno

The VW Electric Minibus will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2017, paving the way for the company's production of electric minibuses that can seat several persons. The VW Electric Minibus will be spacious with a long battery range to ensure that passengers feel comfortable and can reach their destination without stopping for battery recharging.

The VW Electric Minibus to be introduced at the Detroit Auto Show will be based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit or MEB. It will sport a front end that is upright, just like the Microbus of the past. The minibus will have two electric motors and will be an all-wheel-drive vehicle. It will feature a steering wheel, but when the autonomous functions are launched, it will retract on the dashboard, allowing the driver to relax while the VW Electric Minibus navigates the road, according to Automotive News Europe.

Activating the self-drive mode will result in laser scanners taking a look at the general environment. The lasers will be backed up by the ultrasonic and radar sensors and the cameras will keep watch of other road users. Instead of going out to hail a minibus or making a call when a ride is needed, the VW Electric Minibus can be notified using a smartphone app, according to Torque News.

The launching of the VW Electric Minibus will allow the company to one day assume the role of leader among mobility providers. While old minibuses will be used at first, it will soon be replaced by electric vehicles that can seat 7 to 8 passengers. It is believed that by using this type of service, traffic congestion in major cities will be resolved, according to Autovista Intelligence.

With the advent of the VW Electric Minibus, passengers will have an entirely different riding experience. The said vehicle is expected to be available in European cities in 2017.

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