The event is taking place from November 21 to December 18, 2022, in Doha, Qatar. During that time, 35 electric VWs will shuttle spectators to and from the stadium. These vehicles will also support Level 4 self-driving capabilities.
The self-driving aspect will intentionally limited, however. The paths they take will be "semi-fixed" and the vehicles will be geofenced to the Doha West Bay area.
VW Group is looking to take this opportunity to use some real-life experience with autonomous vehicle integration. The company is working closely with Qatar to develop the necessary infrastructure to make this happen. And should it prove effective, they'll be using the knowledge gained toward other cities.
“We will be experiencing real-world learnings and use the project as a stepping stone—for generations to come,” said Herbert Diess, VW Group's CEO.
While the World Cup isn't until 2022, VW will begin testing the service as early as 2020.
This is a great example of where autonomy can be more easily integrated. When you have set pathways to follow, the vehicle doesn't have to worry about unexpected terrain or directions. Before you know it, public buses will be autonomous.