The wraps are off another innovation to come out of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and this time Volkswagen if flexing its high-tech muscles. The R Touch interior concept, based on the standard Golf hatchback, previews the next level of advanced infortainment for the firm.
Essentially a snapshot of what we can expect from VW Group cabins in the next half-decade on models such as the MK8 Golf, the R Touch concept debuts an evolution of the firm's current touchscreen system used for in-car multimedia and information features. There's also gesture control and the screen itself has expanded to 12.8-inches, with a separate 8-inch Control Centre below for a vast array of functions.
The newest innovation to come out of this technology showcase is the gesture recognition, which VW says will allow "intuitive operation of high-tech infotainment". It uses proximity sensors and a 3D camera mounted in the roof lining to record and interpret hand movements to control almost every piece of equipment in the cabin.
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For example, if the driver gestures to touch the roof then the car will bring up touchscreen controls for the sunroof. You can then gesture your hand back or forward to slide the roof open or closed. Similar hand-waving can be used to adjust the seats and even the climate control.
The firm claims the system is primarily designed to reduce the increasing array of distractions for the driver and make it more natural to control the technology.
As well as the new innovations, VW has evolved more familiar technology with even larger and more feature-packed central touchscreen displays. The main high-resolution screen is now a 12.8-inch fare, which controls infotainment, multimedia options and internet browsing. A second 8-inch display below replaces the age-old use of buttons and knobs for the heating and ventilation.
The dials are also digitized, using a development of the recently launched Virtual Display we first saw on the Audi TT. There is also the introduction of the long-awaited Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone intergrations and the use of MirrorLink to mimic the functions of your phone.
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The German outfit also demonstrated a new addition to its all-electric e-Golf hatch. Called Trained Parking, the system is similar in concept to that first seen at Tesla late last year. A camera mounted at the base of the rear-view mirror can scan for parking options, and semi-autonomously take the car to them and park. It can even be used to guide the car automatically to electric charging stations.
Although no exact dates have been given for the tech's debut on road-going models, we can expect to see both the R Touch features and Trained Parking to appear before 2020.
Now read about the Mercedes F 015 concept revealed at CES 2015