Based on the ID. Buzz, this is a brilliant concept.
Volkswagen's switch to electrification has resulted in many exciting new concepts, and as the world prepares for autonomous driving systems, the possibilities for the future of the automobile become even greater. One of the future vehicles that we're very much looking forward to is the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, an all-electric minivan bus with charming retro styling.
Volkswagen has realized that a small bus has endless applications, and many of the early bay-window examples even became fire engines. To that end, the German automaker has revealed ID.Buzz-based concepts and prototypes that work as delivery vans and autonomous taxis, and now VW is presenting us with an autonomous ambulance.
The new concept was shown at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg, Germany, where Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles showed off the various applications of an electric autonomous bus. We saw the aforementioned taxi and cargo van concepts, but a new one was also briefly displayed, showing bright yellow paint as part of a typical ambulance livery. In this concept, the two paramedics in the vehicle would be able to attend to the patient at the same time, doubling the efficacy of the typical two-person team. With no need for one of the paramedics to focus on driving duties, and with the ability that autonomous vehicles will have to find the quickest route to a hospital, this concept could genuinely help save lives.
"As designers, we're the people who think up these new living environments," says VW Commercial Vehicles design chief Albert Kirzinger. "To really get inside the head of somebody in the future and to offer them different things, to analyze their needs and different use cases, and then to define a vehicle from the basic requirements. That's what design of the future has to do."
He's basically using his own words to say what Steve Jobs once famously did: "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." In this context, one could say that people don't know what they need until you show it to them either, but we can all agree that an ambulance that can save lives is certainly in that category.
The video also shows Volkswagen's commitment to sustainability, showcasing some of the interesting materials that will make up all new models. These include materials made from industrial waste, used carpets, fishing nets, and other materials. These get turned into yarns that will make up things like floormats, and this is said to be especially important in an autonomous vehicle where occupants will be more focused on the materials in the cabin than they would if they were behind the wheel. The materials will still feel good and look good. We expect to see the production versions of at least some of these concepts on our roads in 2026.