It’s a little surprising to hear that car brands had their share of the floor during an event called the Mobile World Congress. When you think about cars, most of the time you think about a more mechanical kind of man-machine interface; more hardware than software. However, BMW, Ford, Nissan, and even NVIDIA all have spots at MWC showcasing their latest vehicle innovation. Some have speech interface options for interacting with the car, others are more hardwired into their offerings: smart driving, navigation, electric power, and in Volkswagen ID’s case, all of the above.
First announced during the Paris Motor Show, the Volkswagen ID is the company’s latest smart car. It’s an electric vehicle that doesn’t have a secondary petrol power option. The batteries that power the car’s wheels can take it out up to 400kms on a single charge, or so VW claims.
It does look like how a Beetle should when placed in a futuristic world. The lines are clean, the wheels are big, and thanks to battery-powered wheels and electronics, the interior is about the same size as a sedan while being shorter than a Golf.
The cool think about the ID is its steering wheel. When you hop in the driver’s seat, you just see a clean dashboard with what looks like a gauge cluster. Placing your hand on the raised portion of the gauge engages manual driving mode and it pops out to reveal a futuristic steering wheel system. While it all sounds like the future car of our dreams has arrived, most of what VW showcased during MWC – especially its looks – may not survive market release. The tires alone scream concept car more than roadworthy subcompact.
Don’t expect the VW ID to be hitting roads anytime soon, as the company announced that they have a 2020 deadline. This gives them time though, to integrate the latest Google innovations in autonomous driving if they so choose, along with other third party smart driving innovations that will come out in the near future. Rest assured that, basing on photos, the ID will be given focus as the banner car for VW.