The facelifted Volkswagen Golf due in 2016 will reportedly feature segment-first gesture control technology that will replace many of the car’s physical buttons and dials with touch-sensitive surfaces.
Speaking with Auto Express, Volkswagen head of powertrain development Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser revealed some of the gesture control technology previewed earlier this year in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept would make its way into the popular small car within 18 months.
“The gesture control will become reality in the Golf at the end of next year,” Neusser said.
“The interior features a preview of future VW interior technologies, with smartphone applications redefined for automotive use.”
Just how much of the Golf R Touch concept’s technology reaches the production Golf next year remains to be seen.
The concept features three large screens: a 12.8-inch 1920×720 instrument cluster display replacing the traditional analogue dials, a glossy 12.8-inch 2560×1700 touchscreen at the top of the centre stack, and an 8.0-inch 800×400 touch-sensitive slider bar at the base of the centre stack.
The largest of the three operates much like a smartphone or tablet device, providing access to the majority of the car’s infotainment systems with a level of touch functionality that few other than Tesla have achieved.
The panel below breaks out the climate control system, some audio controls, and other commonly used features. It uses haptic feedback to pulse the screen and buzz the driver’s finger, which is intended to help keep the driver from taking their eyes from the road.
The switches for opening and closing the sunroof and windows were also replaced in the Golf R Touch concept by touch-sensitive surfaces, allowing occupants to simply flick and tap the touchpad to achieve the desired result.