Volkswagen’s pivot away from diesel cars to electric vehicles is still a work in progress, but some details about its coming I.D. electric car — unveiled in Paris earlier this year — are starting to come to light. Much of the news is about an innovative augmented reality heads-up display Volkswagen plans to offer in its electric vehicles. Klaus Bischoff, head of the VW brand, says the I.D. electric car will completely reinvent vehicle instrumentation systems when it is launched at the end of the decade.
The system is so important to the Volkswagen’s plans, it moved the electric motor to the rear of the car so it could push the dashboard forward by 200 millimeters to make room for the heads-up system. Bischoff says the new system will be able to project information and pictograms onto the windshield. The information will appear to be located about 50 feet ahead of the driver. Navigation information such as where to turn will appear as if it was on the surface of the road itself.
When fully developed, the system will go well ll beyond navigational information. It will also be able to highlight approaching hazards such as pedestrian crossings and stationary obstructions in the road ahead. It will also be able to warn of low traction situations like ice or snow awaiting the driver.
The system will be connected to the HERE mapping cloud. The HERE system is owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler. It uses both highly accurate 3D maps generated by Lidar sensors together with information gathered from millions of other vehicles. In that respect, it is similar to the cloud based Autopilot system employed by Tesla Motors.
Speaking of Tesla, there is every reason to believe that it will have a similar system as part of its upcoming Model 3 midsize car due to go into production in late 2017. Tesla has only been building cars for less then 5 years, but somehow every major manufacturer in the world is now chasing it. If Elon Musk has anything to say about it, Tesla will continue setting the path that others will follow.
Source: Autocar Image credit: Volkswagen