After a year of having its name dragged through the mud with Dieselgate, Volkswagen revealed the I.D., a full-electric car destined for production by 2020. To show just how serious they are, VW has already revealed that there will be two levels: a 300-km-range car; and one with a larger battery pack good for 500 to 600 km.
The blue lights you see on the roof are laser scanners, because VW is claiming that there will be a fully autonomous version by 2025. Those are just four of ten laser scanners found throughout the car’s body.
As far as looks go, VW is claiming that the production car will look very much like that which you see here, with the exception of the blue wheels. What you can’t see here is just how customizable it all is; by synching with your smartphone, you can set the interior lighting colour, which music is playing, and can even access your contacts, so you can easily select where you’re headed before you even get in the car.
One has to ask, of course, that if it’s going to be autonomous, why the weight given to pre-loading everything? Well, you don’t have to look much further than everyone’s obsession with cloud computing and synching everything these days to know just what VW’s on about.
All it will take is a press of the Volkswagen logo on the steering wheel, at which point said wheel retracts to sit completely flush with the rest of the dash. Destinations can then be entered via voice command, or they can be selected from pre-loaded items in what VW’s calling your “diary.”
In addition to understanding your voice, it will understand your gestures, too; for the full Minority Report effect, various information is displayed on the windscreen, scaled to appear as if it’s sitting 15 metres ahead of you. It’s all in full-colour 3D, too.
Upon arrival to whichever destination you’ve chosen, meanwhile, the I.D. does its best Roomba vacuum impression and will actually drive off to find itself some parking. No driver is required to be present. This, my friends, is the future of motoring.
It doesn’t stop there, either; with the I.D., VW’s also debuting the MEB platform, an all-new platform designed specifically with electric vehicles in mind. VW being VW, chances are they’re going to want to get the most out of the new platform (just look what they’re doing with the current MQB platform, which underpins something like 90 percent of the models in the entire Volkswagen Group), so expect a whole range of electric VW’s in the future.
After all, the Beetle is due for a redesign sometime soon, and what about that recreation of the Type 2 bus, the Bulli, we keep hearing about?