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The Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept is a completely autonomous pod on wheels that’ll be formally unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
Self-driving cars are often seen as the Velcro shoes of the automotive world, boxy and uninspired. But VW’s latest offering is daresay sexy.
And if that name sounds somewhat familiar, it should. This is the fourth member of the German automaker’s I.D. family of concept cars, which includes both a crossover and retro-inspired microbus.
Sporting an all-electric drivetrain, the I.D. Vizzion brandishes an advertised 302 horsepower. Nestled underneath its floor is a generously portioned 111 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that should give this vehicle an estimated range of 413 miles on the European testing cycle.
All-wheel drive is also part of this powertrain equation, neatly packaged into the vehicle’s MEB architecture. Two dissimilar motors – the front one is rated at 101 horsepower, the rear at 201 – and a duet of separate transmissions provide plenty of motive force. Traditional wired as well as inductive charging are supported to keep those cells pumped up with electrons.
Paving the way forward, this vehicle boasts of Level 5 autonomy, meaning it operates entirely on its own, ideally controlled by voice or gestures controls. This means it does not need a steering wheel, pedals or traditional dashboard.
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Advanced machine learning allows the I.D. Vizzion concept to understand its surroundings in new ways and react accordingly. Laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar and optical cameras constantly monitor the vehicle’s location, preventing it from colliding with other cars, obstacles or pedestrians. Additionally, traffic data is constantly pulled from the cloud, allowing this design study to tap into the power of swarm intelligence (sounds spooky!).
Underway, three different travel modes can be engaged: Relax, Active and Family. Each one adjusts the vehicle’s feel to the passengers’ needs, whether they want to work on e-mail or simply take a nap while commuting.
A lengthy wheelbase of 122 inches (310 cm) provides a generously portioned interior, perfect for hauling people in sublime comfort. Curt front and rear overhangs add some visual drama to the I.D. Vizzion’s windswept body. For added practicality, the trunk measures 20 cubic feet (566 liters).
Suicide doors are an undeniably cool touch and negate the need for a B-pillar, making ingress and egress to the lounge-like cabin far easier. The sleek, coupe-like roofline is nifty as well, as are its massive 24-inch wheels.
Volkswagen’s I.D. Vizzion concept gives us an early look at what driving in the year 2030 might look like. That’s still a long way off, but by 2020 the German automotive giant plans to launch its I.D. family of electric vehicles, and that’s just a couple years away.