Volkswagen’s Touchless Infotainment System Will Make You Feel Like a Jedi Wizard

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Volkswagen wants to be one of the first automakers to hit the mass market with gesture controls, and it’s showing us its latest developments at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

The new infotainment system in this Volkswagen e-Golf Touch will launch in the company’s upcoming compact cars, along with its gesture control capabilities. What is gesture control, you may ask? It’s the ability to control things in your car without touching or speaking to them. You basically just move your hand or fingers in a specific way and the car will respond. You can open and close the windows, for example, by waving your hands over them in the direction you want the window to move. It’s kind of like having The Force, but for your car.

See Also: Will 3D Gestures Curb Distracted Driving?

Then again, if you want to touch the car, that’s also OK, since there’s a new-generation infotainment system that features a 9.2-inch, high-resolution screen. Better yet, if you want more control but don’t want to take your hands off the steering wheel, you can talk to the car using a keyword that activates voice recognition, like “Hey Volkswagen.”

This electric compact also offers wireless charging, though, not for charging the vehicle, but instead for charging your mobile devices. It’s also worthwhile to note that both of VW’s new vehicles on display at CES are electric-only, diverting attention away from the brand’s recent troubles with its diesel engines.

The infotainment system is much more connected than before, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is even able to integrate notifications from some of your favorite apps like Facebook and Twitter that will display at low speeds.

The e-Golf sports a number of unique personalization features including the ability to upload your personalized settings to a cloud account and use them in another VW.

Another new feature on display is the ability to amplify the driver’s voice to the rear speakers, allowing the rear passengers to hear the driver better.

Speaking of rear seat passengers, the VW e-Golf will allow passengers to connect their mobile devices and interact with the car though their smartphones. By connecting a tablet or phone to the vehicle’s WiFi hotspot, passengers will be able to control various infotainment features of the vehicle including the radio, media source and navigation. This will launch this summer in Europe, and also allows for video streaming between tablets, remote control of the vehicle’s media system and audio streaming via a tablet or smartphone that allows for all users of the app to adjust the current playlist.

It will be interesting to see when and how these high-tech features are adapted to production vehicles.

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  • Toby Setchfield

    Some of these features (for example the SharedAudio feature, CarPlay & Android Auto) are already available in current VW models with the MIB2 headunits (post June 2015 on Golf R, earlier on other models).
    Would be really great to do an article demonstrating/reiewing these!