Automotive

Volkswagen's Golf R Touch concept shows off the car cockpit of the future

Volkswagen's Golf R Touch conc...
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
A rear view of the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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A rear view of the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
An aerial view of the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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An aerial view of the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
A view of the front seata and controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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A view of the front seata and controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car's interior lighting and controls can be customized
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The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car's interior lighting and controls can be customized
The driver's controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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The driver's controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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The VW Golf R Touch concept at CES 2015 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag)
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As technology in cars becomes increasingly complex, the need for making it simple to use becomes more pressing. This is the principle on which Volkswagen has based its Golf R Touch concept car. The vehicle's infotainment system is controlled by driver gestures and three large touchscreen interfaces.

"The development team for the Golf R Touch pursued the goal of producing an interior and infotainment concept that would fulfill seemingly contradictory requirements," explains Volkswagen. "Despite the continually growing complexity and number of functions, this concept was intended to reduce driver distractions while attaining maximum personalization and intuitive operation in the car."

Volkswagen says that nearly all of the controls in the Golf R Touch are either touchscreen or sensor-based. The touchscreen displays include a high-resolution 12.8-in infotainment system, an 8-in Control Center from which the user can adjust climate control and media settings, and a 12.3-in Active Information Display that shows digital versions of the car's instruments.

The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car's interior lighting and controls can be customized
The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car's interior lighting and controls can be customized

With its gestural control system, Volkswagen talks of "extending touchscreen operation into a third dimension." The system uses cameras mounted in the vehicle that recognize hand gestures, and assigns meaning to them. In this way, users are able to control displays and vehicle functionality without having to focus on and use a touchscreen. This is aimed at making human-vehicle interaction more convenient and, ultimately, at improving safety.

A variety of different gestures are used, and are captured by different cameras. When a user's hand is raised towards the car's roof, for example, the system recognizes and acknowledges the action and allows the user to instruct the automatic sunroof to open with a swiping gesture. A camera at seat level, meanwhile, detects if a user's hand moves between the front seats, and allows the user to change their seat settings with different gestures. A touch slider below the central console allows users to alter audio, navigation or telephone volume, depending on how many fingers they slide up and down it.

The driver's controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car
The driver's controls in the Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept car

Users are able to customize the touchscreens using a smartphone or tablet. It's possible to select background images, for example, and to customize the screens' layout according to preference. Similarly, the digital instrumentation and the lighting of the touchscreen and in the interior of the car itself can be adjusted.

Smartphones can also be connected to the infotainment system via Mirror Link, Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay systems. These allow for certain apps to be accessed through touchscreen, voice and gesture command.

The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept vehicle is on display at CES this week.

Source: Volkswagen

View gallery - 23 images
2 comments
2 comments
BeWalt
Nice! Real innovation instead of just the usual migration of buttons and switches that car manufacturers praise as "great innovation" with every new model.
And congrats to Tesla! When Volkswagen is copying you, you know that you've done something very, very well.
Interestingly, in Germany right now Tesla is pretty much shunned as a subject to talk about, pretty much everywhere. I was trying to find reports in german about the achievement of accelerating faster than most Porsche models when the P85D came out, but there's almost nothing! Writers aren't writing, reporters on TV and radio are not reporting, it is surreal! This is car-speed-crazy Germany! I wonder if the car industry is putting up subtle pressure here and there, using their power as major ad customers.
martinkopplow
Only the fact it has a large center screen does not indicate the Golf R Touch is copying Tesla. It is going beyond in many aspects, as it expands the touch metaphor throughout the car. Believe me: I've been driving in a Tesla and I've been sitting in the Golf R touch.
Tesla not being more prominent in the German media is probably down to the fact that government here is stlll reluctant to support EVs in general, so they are still something exotic, not anything real for most potential car buyers. We have this "Energiewende" strategy, which aims to use more renewables and shut down nuklear and coal, and many people actually still believe, EVs would require to keep the nuclear plants active much longer plus they would increase electricity prices. So, there is no poltical momentum, and charger infrastructure is way behind schedule. Take my word, I have three years of experience driving my EV on a daily basis: Unless you have your private charge boxes, you're lost with an EV in Germany. Even Tesla now setting up their own superchargers along the Autobahn will not have the impact required, to really get EV going. A compatibility issue. What a pity.