Autonomous services are scheduled to begin before the next FIFA World Cup kicks off.
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The Qatar Investment Authority and Volkswagen have signed a deal which will see the German automaker test and operate a small fleet of self-driving people movers and buses in the kingdom's capital city.

According to the automaker, there will be a fleet of 35 self-driving ID Buzz people movers operating on semi-fixed routes in the Westbay district of Doha.

There will also be 10 autonomous Scania buses to transport larger groups of people.

From the announcement it's not clear if Volkswagen's autonomous shuttle buses will ferry passengers to and from FIFA World Cup venues. The Westbay area is around 15 kilometres away from the nearest World Cup stadium.

The company is confident Qatar will have the "world’s first emission-free, electric and autonomous public transport system" in time for the the "largest sporting event in the world".

Above and top: Volkswagen ID Buzz concept.

Volkswagen says it will begin closed testing of its self-driving buses and shuttles during 2020. Trials are scheduled to begin in early 2021, and the system "will go live by the end of 2022".

Due to country's hot climate, the 2022 World Cup has been moved from its traditional mid-year spot, and will take place between November 21 and December 18.