Volkswagen, one of the most successful car companies in the world, showed off some of its technological concepts for its future vehicles at this year’s CES. The focus of the company this year is the interior and usability experience of the passenger via the vehicle’s infotainment and connectivity systems that may appear in their future car models specifically the Golf and e-Golf. We cover some of the company’s biggest concept reveals below.
Golf R Touch Concept
Volkswagen displayed, for the first time, its next concept vehicle in the Golf R Touch. The new concept showcases what a touch and gesture-controlled infotainment system is capable of. With the Golf R Touch’s systems, the user need only make a hand movement in front of the Golf’s infotainment display to interact with it. Most of the vehicle’s controls is manipulated via either touchscreen or gestures and is equipped with three displays – the main 12.8-inch HD infotainment system touchscreen; a Control Center screen (8.0-inch) right below the main display for touch controlling vehicle, climate, and media functions; and a 12.3-inch Active Information Display for digitally monitoring the vehicle’s instruments. Additionally, users will be able to customize the screen layouts of both the Control Center and Active information Display.
According to the company, the new infotainment system concept seeks to help reduce driver distractions while improving user operation within the vehicle. The Golf R Touch is a glimpse into the future of vehicle operation, not just from Volkswagen, but the industry as a whole.
Connected Golf (e-Golf)
After unveiling the Golf R Touch, Volkswagen unveiled its new Connected Golf concept based on its current e-Golf electric car. The concept combines a slew of technologies to create, according to the company, a truly networked vehicle. The first of these technologies is the company’s latest MIB II infotainment system capable of integrating a wide range of apps, smartphones, and tablets through what Volkswaven calls its ‘progressive interface management system’ as well as App-Connect which brings together the three major automobile software interfaces namely Mirror Link, Android Auto (Google), and CarPlay (Apple). This system enables users to access a multitude of apps and features over the Connected Golf’s infotainment system.
Other technologies that the company showed off within the Connected Golf concept includes Media Control which allows users to integrate their devices (including smart watches) into the infotainment system to create what the company calls a ‘new-age rear seat entertainment system’, Regular Routes automatically detects regular heavy traffic spots on the user’s regular commute route and automatically suggests alternative routes, and Parking Guide which gives the user parking sites or lots recommendations based on the site’s probability of free parking spaces.
e-Golf Inductive Charging
Another one of the concepts Volkswagen showed off for the e-Golf is something the company calls Intelligent Charge which will eventually allow users to charge their cars via an inductive charging base instead of plugging in via a cable. The company also wants users to be able to easily and quickly see if their vehicle is still being charged or is already fully charged by looking at their vehicle’s exterior lights. As part of the system, a feature called e-Station Guide will help drivers find and get information on charging stations including charging equipment and payment options.
e-Golf Perfect Parking
The last concept that the company showed off at CES is the next evolution of the company’s Park Assist technology – Trained Parking. The new technology utilizes a rear camera mounted in the base of the rear-view mirror to scan and ‘learn’ parking paths to eventually be able to execute parking semi-automatically. Volkswagen also said that, in a future evolution, want its Park Assist to be able to semi-automatically park onto inductive charging stations as well as implement almost completely autonomous parking without the drive inside the vehicle and just monitoring the process via their smartphone.
Volkswagen’s slew of Connected Golf and e-Golf concepts all scream of a future where cars park and drive themselves while the supposed driver spends his time using the array of modern apps and features the car’s infotainment system offers. Frankly, we’re terribly excited to see where car technology is going, and again not just from Volkswagen.