As well as displaying its BUDD-e concept at CES, Volkswagen has unveiled a new version of its e-Golf electric compact. VW says the e-Golf Touch is one of the world's first compact cars with gesture control. It also offers wireless charging, electronic voice amplification and personalization options.
Gesture-wise, the e-Golf Touch follows in the footsteps of the Golf R Touch, which was shown off at CES last year. Whereas the R Touch was only a concept car, however, the inclusion of gesture control in the e-Golf Touch means we'll be seeing it come to market.
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The gesture control functionality is powered by the latest version of VW's Modular Infotainment Toolkit (MIB), coupled with a 9.2-in 1280 x 640-pixel, glass-covered touch display. The display can be used as one full area, or split into a large main area with two smaller tiles at the side. These can be assigned any of 10 different functions, such as showing media playback or smartphone functions.
In addition to the gesture functionality, the system has Menu, Home, Car, App touch-sensitive buttons and a push-rotary switch. The latest generation voice control technology also debuts in the e-Golf Touch and is said to offer "significantly improved controls," as well as a new Keyword Activation function that allows the user to start voice recognition with a phrase like "Hello Volkswagen."
All occupants of the e-Golf Touch have access to wireless charging for mobile devices. For those in the front of the vehicle, the functionality is integrated into the mobile phone tray underneath the infotainment system, while, for rear passengers, it is integrated into the armrests. A USB Type C port offers both fast charging and high-speed data transfer.
To make it easier for front and rear occupants to communicate, VW has included electronic voice amplification. A hands-free microphone is used in conjunction with the rear speakers to provide this functionality and the system is able to adjust its volume based on vehicle speed and music volume.
Elsewhere, a new "exit screen" offers personalized, simplified access to infotainment functions and it's also possible to save broader personalized in-car settings to the cloud via the user's Volkswagen Car-Net ID account. These settings can then be reloaded when the user drives another VW with Car-Net ID functionality.
The Volkswagen Media Control app allows passengers to control infotainment functions via a tablet connected to the car's Wi-Fi hotspot and the Car-Net App Connect allows users to use their smartphone via the infotainment system with an interface that mirrors the device's operating system. Phones can also now connect wirelessly to the system.
Volkswagen says the e-Golf Touch is "close to production."