It was anyone’s guess as to how Volkswagen’s proverbial elephant in the room would be addressed at CES. Would it be glossed over? Mentioned at all? Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess used part of his keynote speech time as an opportunity to address the monumental emissions scandal, offer an apology and make a promise to rectify the situation as completely as possible.
Now, for the technology!
The E-Golf Touch was first to roll on stage. The little hatchback featured voice-controlled navigation, inductive antenna linkage, wireless charging and wireless smartphone connection. The vehicle can always be online via the remote app.
The remote app offers some features that might help ensure peace of mind. If kids are using the vehicle, the speed tracker can let their parents know whether or not they’re staying within the agreed-upon parameters. There is also a GPS tracker and a “where’s my car” feature, should one forget where their E-Golf Touch is parked.
Diess then introduced BUDD-e, an electric concept vehicle reminiscent of the early VW Bus. He claimed BUDD-e is truly the first car within the Internet of Things. “BUDD-e thinks and understands. Everything works intuitively.” He demonstrated by opening the door with a gesture, then with voice command.
The stunning, bright white cockpit featured one large dash panel area made up of customizable touchscreens. These screens, through a smartphone, can act as the control panel for an entire connected home. BUDD-e can show who is at the door when the doorbell rings. It allows vehicle occupants to speak directly to the visitor, and even open the door for them. BUDD-e wants to ensure an ideal home arrival and does so by estimating the arrival time home, adjusting temperature, lights, and even music should the user choose.
Diess also announced that VW, along with Diamler and BMW, are investing heavily in mapping and machine technology. They will partner with Mobileye to incorporate and continuously improve high definition, real-time maps.
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