VW I.D. Vizzion Is All Electric & Fully Autonomous

Volkswagen’s concept car — I.D. Vizzion — a fully autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel, will debut at the 88th International Motor Show in Geneva in March.

Following the reveal of its first all-electric vehicles in the new I.D. family, the company now plans to show off, for the first time, its concept for a fully autonomous car that also uses electric power.

The concept car lacks a steering wheel or visible controls, and the vehicle — or others designed like it — would be aimed at customer groups who cannot drive because of their age or other factors.

The Vizzion is the fourth member of the Volkswagen I.D. family, and features a 111 kWh lithium-ion battery, enabling a driving range of up to 415 miles, when braking regeneration is factored in.

Based on its intelligent management, the two electric motors cooperate with maximum efficiency and drive all four wheels of the vehicle.

At the kick-off of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the auto manufacturer and tech giant Nvidia showcased the future of artificial intelligence in consumer vehicles.

Part of this announcement included the I.D. Buzz — another part of the I.D. family. Volkswagen will use the Buzz as part of its electric car campaign, which will then gradually introduce autonomous driving capabilities starting in 2020.

One potential outcome of AI infusion into Volkswagen I.D. Buzz are what the company calls Intelligent Co-Pilot capabilities, which will include convenience and driver assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car.

The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle through software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving.

Thanks to deep learning, this VW will learn to accurately assess situations and analyze the behavior of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions, according to the company.

Building on the Nvidia Drive IX Intelligent Experience platform, AI-enabled features such as facial recognition for unlocking the vehicle from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for voice control and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts are all possible.

The launch of the Buzz will be followed by a new electric SUV, the I.D. Crozz. After that debut, more than 20 fully electric vehicles are planned by 2025 toward its goal of becoming the world leader in this area.

The models based on the Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) architecture are planned to offer the latest driver assistance systems to be prepared for the respective levels of autonomous driving that are available.

The MEB electronic systems will also be gradually introduced to vehicles with conventional drive systems that are based on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten — German for Modular Transverse Matrix) architecture.

Last year the company showed off its Sedric self-driving concept car, which is the first vehicle from the company to have been created for Level 5 of autonomous driving, which means a person as a human driver is no longer required.

Also designed without a steering wheel or pedals, the Sedric could point the way to future interior design cues for autonomous vehicles — the car acts more like a lounge than a traditional four-wheeled car, with sofa-like seats, large window surfaces and transparent high-resolution OLED screen, which allows passengers to look out at the front.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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