6.1.2017VW adds connectivity and intuitive systems to I.D. EV
Volkswagen has revealed a number of new features at the CES 2017 show in Las Vegas, focusing on connectivity and user experiences. Focusing on concepts that are likely to be seen in the short-term future - rather than outlandish never-to-reach-production models - the German company will look to offer highly connected and easy to use cars as it expands its electric vehicle range.
Connected and autonomous cars are already here to a degree, so VW has worked on making systems more intuitive to use. Voice controls will be able to be used with natural speech commands - and the car will recognise keywords wherever they are in the phrase.
For example, 'I need to refuel', or 'I'm hungry' will bring up sat-nav suggestions for petrol stations/EV charging points and eateries respectively. Equally, 'Volkswagen, I want to go to London', or I want to go to London, Volkswagen' will both get the same result.
The car's system can also provide reasons for suggestions. If asked 'Volkswagen, why are you suggesting that petrol station?', the car can answer with some thing like 'That petrol station is located directly on the route'.
A common theme to CES is artificial intelligence, which VW is looking at using too and will see the car learn a users preferences over time, using this to be able to offer tailored route suggestions to them.
The driving experience will be altered too by the use of a new 3D digital cockpit. This uses two screens - one behind the other - to create a 3D look to displays. With another axis to work on, the dashboard can provide more information or lay it out more intuitively for driver use.
Likewise, the car will use Eyetracking technology to see where the driver is looking inside the vehicle. It can reduce the amount of information displayed when the screens are not being 'used'. Graphical animations will only be shown when the driver looks at the display, which also reduces the time users need to reach the controls they want as there are no longer intermediate steps in the menu.
An Augmented Reality (AR) Head-up Display has been developed too that projects information virtually ahead of the vehicle. This means the driver keeps their eyes on the road more often, and doesn't tire as quickly too.
There are two levels to the information able to be shown. The first displays driving information such as directions or the distance to the vehicle ahead. This is displayed 'onto the road', while the second level - infotainment information - is displayed closer to the windscreen do differentiate the two systems.
As part of the connected systems, Volkswagen will use a VW User ID system that holds account information. A user can use their smartphone and the app to unlock the car, and allow remote access for other users, such as delivery drivers who want to leave a parcel in the car.
The car will be able to connect to home systems too, such as DoorBird which alerts the driver if someone is ringing the doorbell at home. They can switch the lights on or off at home remotely too through a partnership with LG, and the systems can work with Amazon's Alexa service at home with the user's Echo unit.
This works both ways, with drivers at home able to ask Alexa how much petrol or charge is left in the car to find out if they have enough power to get where they want to go.
Many of these services are set to be available as standard when the I.D. goes on sale in 2020. Autonomous systems will be online from around 2025.