VW’s Swarm Data Isn’t as Sinister as It Sounds

It sounds like something the evil Borg from “Star Trek” would use to demolish planets. Swarm Data. Like, there’s a hive mind controlling something behind it. But, in VW’s case, the new ID. Buzz SUV/van uses VW’s new Swarm Data tech to keep you safe on the road, even if you’re not touching the steering wheel.

What is Swarm Data?

VW Swarm data illustration
Swarm Data illustration | VW

Swarm Data is designed to help Travel Assist predict what’s around you. VW’s Travel Assist is the company’s version of hands-free driving software. It’s VW’s version of Ford’s BlueCruise or GM’s Ultra Cruise and allows a vehicle to control itself. Travel Assist can keep a vehicle in a lane, maintain a safe distance to a vehicle in front, and keep it cruising at a driver’s set max speed. But that data for the system has to come from somewhere, and in this case it’s from the “swarm” of other VWs using Travel Assist as they go about their daily driving.

Every VW with the system can send Swarm Data to a core and share things like road signs and marker lines. The system gets data from other VWs on the road and it can use that data to keep going. It can, for example, identify a road and keep a vehicle on that road with just one lane marking, which is great for those meandering country roads. VW says the database is growing every day thanks to a large number of vehicles sending anonymized data.

IQ Drive is VW’s suite of driver’s assistance features and it uses some of the same sensors.

Swarm Data lets you do some cool things

The new ID. Buzz can do some really neat things with the Swarm Data engaged. For example, if you tap the turn signal lever, the ID. Buzz will change lanes for you. It also cleverly adapts to your driving style. For example, do you like to stay in the right lane? Travel Assist will keep you there. Travel Assist will come on the ID. Buzz, but it’s already standard on the ID.4 sedan according to Tech Crunch.

It comes with predictive cruise control and a corning assist function, so if you want to go a certain speed, it can wait until the traffic lets up enough for you to go that speed. And, it adapts to bends or roundabouts in the road, too, so you don’t end up blasting though an intersection at 65 mph.

You teach the ID. Buzz how to park

A green Volkswagen ID. Buzz is parked.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz | Volkswagen

The ID. Buzz can learn up to five parking maneuvers. It can remember how you like to park in your garage at home, the garage at work, or even how to get into tight parallel parking spots. You simply park, then save the procedure, and the ID. Buzz remembers what you did. It can also search for, and slot into, a parking space you may have missed on its own.

What is the VW ID. Buzz?

2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz European model interior cabin seating materials and dashboard layout
2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz interior | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The VW. ID Buzz looks like the old VW busses that many of us grew up loving and it’s available for ordering now. But, the new ID. Buzz SUV is all-electric and seats five. The Buzz is tall, like an SUV, but has a wide-open lounge-style cabin that takes advantage of the space saved by not having a gas motor in it. Of course, it also has a lot of style, from the varying lighting to the interesting details on the bumper, that should make it a trend-setting SUV.

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