Volkswagen has unveiled the I.D. VIZZION Concept at Geneva, and it promises to revolutionize transportation as we know it.
Autonomous cars are all that rage nowadays, promising to end traffic congestion while taking us to the corner store and back without ever needing to touch a steering wheel. For the longest time, those promises were pipe dreams, but Volkswagen now promises they’re closer to reality than ever before with the unveiling of their fifth I.D. concept car, the VIZZION.
The I.D. VIZZION is unlike anything on the roads today and seems like a car from some far-off utopian future. To start, it produces no emissions from its 302 hp electric motor. Volkswagen expects to break not just the 300-mile barrier, but even the 400-mile barrier with a maximum expected range of 413 miles on a single battery charge. That brings the VIZZION well into the range of what a regular tank of gas can take you.
But it’s the automated driving features that are truly stand out in the VIZZION. There’s no steering wheel, no dashboard, and no need for a driver. The VIZZION is a Level 5 fully autonomous car. Using a suite of sensors, which includes “inter-connected laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors for objects in the near-zone and radar sensors for long distances, front and rear cameras, and side area view cameras," the VIZZION has a panoramic view of its entire surroundings and respond to all traffic obstacles completely on its own.
The VIZZION will utilize artificial intelligence to not only drive around but also to cater to its occupants. "The system recognizes their needs and tastes—such as seat and air conditioning settings and their favorite playlists—and activates them autonomously as a function of the context and situation," according to Volkswagen’s press release.
For the occupants, the VIZZION will utilize augmented reality, audio sensors, and a pair of rotary dials to change comfort settings and select music. Getting into the car will be done via biometric facial scanning or via smartphone.
Sadly, the VIZZION isn’t slated to enter production until 2030, and one suspects that VW hasn’t worked the kinks out of all these high-tech systems. But the lesser I.D. cars, like the BUZZ and CROZZ, are expected to enter production in 2022. Those will have level 3-4 autonomous driving capability, so we’ll still be able to drive to grandma’s without ever touching a steering wheel.