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Vw Advanced Gesture Control And Networking For New Age Of Mobility

By Author: Jane Adamo
Total Articles: 2

Computers are continually becoming a more and more integral and important part of our everyday lives, with our latest vehicles in particular becoming increasingly integrated with the online world with every new model year. That’s why the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is starting to become almost as important to the auto industry as the traditional big international auto shows. Volkswagen demonstrated an entire fleet of vehicles at this year’s event to illustrate just how closely intertwined the car and computer have already become, and how much they will continue to grow together in the coming months and years.

Although there are a vast amount of systems in a modern VW that are dependent on computer control, the German automaker was concentrating on four distinct areas of technology at CES 2015. These four areas were: computer-controlled drive systems, app and smartphone integration, intuitive vehicle operation and autonomous and semi-autonomous driving.

Computer-controlled drive systems are particularly evident in hybrid and plug-in hybrid models such as the e-Golf and Golf GTE, with functions like battery charging and switching between the different drive sources already being an intrinsic part of current models. However, VW was demonstrating at CES how electric cars in the future will have the ability to dock automatically to inductive charging stations and display signals that show the state-of-charge of the battery, through the use of the vehicle's exterior lights.

App and smartphone integration is now becoming commonplace in many of today’s vehicles, but Volkswagen is looking to move things on with its second generation "modular infotainment platform" (MIB II) in the U.S. This system will operate in conjunction with the new MirrorLink infotainment feature, which is also being made available for the first time, to seamlessly integrate the apps and operating layouts of a large number of current smartphones into VW vehicles.

Intuitive operation was being demonstrated at CES in the Golf R Touch concept vehicle, which has an infotainment system that not only utilizes cameras to detect hand gestures, but also to understand them and assign meaning to them. Gesture control will eventually allow drivers to control displays and functionality without having to use a touchscreen and take their eyes off the wheel, which will inevitably lead to safer driving and greater convenience.

It’s been some time now since we first saw automakers like VW demonstrating driverless vehicle technology, but autonomous and semi-autonomous driving is still very much at the forefront of current vehicle development. Although VW already offers Park Assist that enables semi-automated entry and exit from parking spaces, the European auto giant has been showing off the next stage of this system: Trained Parking. This development sees the car scanning a regularly driven path to a parking space with the onboard camera, which then allows it to negotiate the path semi-automatically by computer control. Eventually, it should even be possible for the car to be parked by the driver remotely, using a smartphone.

Although cars that drive themselves totally may be a long way from taking to our roads and highways just yet, systems like these from Volkswagen show that the technology is almost there, even if our laws, insurance and roads aren’t.


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