The Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept has been unveiled this week, previewing the company's vision for a fully-autonomous electric sedan.
Based on Volkswagen's MEB electric vehicle (EV) platform, the I.D. Vizzion features artificial intelligence (AI), an electric powertrain with a range of up to 413 miles (665km) per charge, and Level 5 autonomous systems, removing the need for traditional driver controls.
It measures 5164mm long, 1948mm wide and 1506mm tall. Meanwhile, a 3098mm wheelbase maximises rear passenger space – by comparison, the Arteon is 4862/1871/1435mm (l/w/h) with a 2837mm wheelbase. In other words, the I.D. Vizzion is massive.
Headlining the German brand's press release is the I.D. Vizzion's artificial intelligence smarts, capable of learning using the vehicle's array of sensors and cameras. For example, it can make up for missing or interrupted lane markings, and distinguish the different types of vehicles on the road.
The technology also incorporates an in-car assistant, capable of recognising user "needs and tastes" for things like air conditioning and music playlists.
The Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion has been designed for Level 5 autonomous driving, so there's no driver's seat, steering wheel, dash board or foot pedals.
Using everything from laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors to radar sensors and camera systems, the I.D. Vizzion detects the world around it while also featuring connected car technology to synchronise traffic data via the cloud or communicate with smart infrastructure.
The vehicle is powered by a dual-motor electric powertrain featuring a combined output of 302hp (225kW) and all-wheel drive, with Volkswagen claiming a range of up to 413mi (665km) on the NEDC combined cycle.
Inside, there's limousine-like four-seat 'lounge' seating, with no driver controls or instrument panel.
Volkswagen says the I.D. Vizzion is operated via gesture and voice controls, and all occupants have access to a HOLOLENS which "projects a visual interface into real space by augmented reality" – a hologram, essentially – used in conjunction with special eyewear developed by Microsoft.
Still, there are a pair of physical rotary dials with push-button functions at the front and rear of the centre console, so passengers can manually toggle audio volume or stop the vehicle.
Three travel modes are available to passengers, too: Relax, Active and Family.
Active allows the passenger to sit, work, communicate, play and call up information as desired, think of it as the 'standard' or 'normal' mode. Relax, meanwhile, extends the footrests, plays calming music, and changes the vehicle's interior ambient lighting to a warm colour.
Volkswagen says the HOLOLENS system has various modes, too, including a Learning mode for kids to use interactive and educational programs or games.
There's no firm launch date for the production version of the I.D. Vizzion concept, though Volkswagen does say in its release that its new show car is a vision "of what may be possible by the year 2030" – meaning the launch of a fully-autonomous sedan likely hinges on the development of technology and legislation during the next decade.
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