VW's new concept blends virtual with reality
Geneva Motor Show - Volkswagen’s latest concept car is the fourth member of the ‘I.D.’ family of design studies, but while the three that came before it - namely the Golf-sized I.D. hatch, Crozz SUV and Buzz ‘Kombi’ - all preview electric cars that are fairly close to reality - this new concept takes things a whole lot further into the future.
Envisioned for the year 2030, the I.D. Vizzion concept is a fully autonomous premium sedan, operated by voice and gesture control, and said to be capable of learning.
Given that its owner will never need to drive it, VW has given the interior concept a complete rethink, creating something of a “mobile living space” that can be completely personalised.
Central to its interior concept is a ‘virtual assistant’ of sorts that uses artificial intelligence to recognise the needs and tastes of its occupants, such as climate and music preferences, and activates the correct settings for the situation.
This virtual butler can also react predictively to a variety of events - and while it could seemingly do everything short of actually making you a cup of coffee, the system can actually order you a coffee from a nearby outlet and pay for it electronically.
Furthermore, this concept blends the real and virtual worlds through the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens - which can project holograms with which occupants can interact with via gesture control.
Occupants can dial in one of three different travel modes: 'Relax', 'Active' and 'Family'. Depending on the mode chosen, the car can extend footrests and darken the windows using electro-chemical technology. Individual users can call up various scenarios via the HoloLens, such as ‘Business’ mode that allows users to participate in video conferences and a Learning mode that gives kids access to games and learning apps.
With all of that going on, you probably won’t pay much attention to what’s powering the car - which in this case is two electric motors delivering a system output of 225kW, fed by a 111 kWh battery designed to provide a range of up to 665km between charges.
But when will this autonomous motoring become a reality? Volkswagen is bargaining on Level 5 fully automated driving, of the kind performed by this concept, being a reality by the year 2025.
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