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Volkswagen announces paw-wheel-drive; teaching dogs to drive

You’ve heard of guide dogs and probably seen one in action at some point. Well, now Volkswagen and the RSPCA are working on extending the possibilities of a man’s best friend with the paw-wheel-drive program.

Volkswagen paw-wheel-drive dogs driving

Volkswagen and the RSPCA, with help from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK, trained three mixed-breed dogs to drive a VW Amarok. The dogs were able to take control of the brakes, gears, and even the steering wheel.

Some modifications were made to the Amarok being used, including a speed limiter to keep it as safe as possible. Anna White of the Southridge RSPCA spoke about the remarkable development in a statement, saying,

“All we have essentially done here is to train the dogs to execute ten sequential behaviours, albeit fairly complicated behaviours! The past few months have been a lot of fun, but there is a serious reason behind the training.

“There is a real shortage of volunteer drivers to take rescue animals to centres with space to accommodate them. We wanted to find a novel way that would encourage more volunteers to help drive rescue animals around the country.”

Those who are keen to see the dogs in action should look out for a Reflex Silver Amarok in the UK wearing the number plate FR5T APR.

Volkswagen paw-wheel-drive

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.