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The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) means that promises are being made about the future of vehicle operation. Chief among which is the promise of autonomous driving, which Volkswagen and Audi have both revealed a bit about.
Audi came first, promising to have autonomous cars on the road by 2020. Volkswagen followed that up by promising to have an autonomous ID-based vehicle by 2025.
The brands plan to deliver on their promises with the help of NVIDIA, whose artificial intelligence will allow the car to constantly learn your (and other motorists’) behaviors.
More than that, though, VW has been revealing its plans to improve user experience (UX), which it seems is its particular focus. In short VW wants to connect your car (not just the ID) to your smart phone.
The advantage being, as has been previously noted, now your settings (seat position, media, interior light color—finally!) all follow you around no matter which VW you’re in.
The other advantage is that VW’s Digital Key can now have many more features. Not only can you open your car door by placing your phone against the door handle, but you can also give other Volkswagen User ID… users(?) access to your car for specific periods of time. Meaning you can lend someone your car virtually.
The app, a foretaste of which is currently available for download and can be used at CES, can also sync with your phone. That means that your music, contacts, and even your videos can be accessed from the car’s various screens.
Volkswagen also hopes to connect your car and your phone to your connected home withDoorBird and Amazon Alexa/Echo services.
For the driver, doubled screens could give the instrument cluster the illusion of a third dimension and an augmented reality heads up display (the CES VW ID AR HUD) could interact with the road ahead to gamify driving experience.
All of which means that VWs are becoming a lot more like the rest of the connected world, which carries with it all the confusing ambiguity of the future.