Volkswagen has revealed the I.D. Vizzion sedan – the fourth member of its electric vehicle family and a concept car that is autonomous, operated by voice and gesture control, and which has a ‘learning’ artificial intelligence at its core.
VW says that the Vizzion is designed for Level 5 automation – that is to say it drives exclusively as a fully autonomous vehicle. As such, it has been designed with no driver’s seat, steering wheel, dash panel or foot pedals. Instead, the Vizzion detects its environment via inter-connected laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, and front, rear and side area view cameras. Traffic data is continually obtained via the cloud and is compared with the data in the Vizzion. Future networking of vehicles with one another will, says VW, also enable the Vizzion to utilise the swarm intelligence of the immediate surroundings and the larger environment. In addition, the I.D. Vizzion integrates high-resolution digital maps into navigation.
The Vizzion’s lithium-ion battery has an energy density of 111 kWh and is housed in the vehicle floor, as are the two electric motors on the front and rear axles. The two motors develop a total system power of 302 hp and drive their respective axles directly. Range is anticipated at up to 413 miles (664 km).
Since the Vizzion has been conceived for fully autonomously driving,there are four ergonomically balanced seats inside rather than a traditional driver’s seat and cockpit, and a ‘bright atmosphere’ is created inside via large side windows and a continuous panoramic sunroof that runs from front to rear. The glass surfaces can be darkened electronically and at maximum darkening, the privacy glass is nearly opaque.
The car has no dash panel as the concept is designed to be primarily operated by gesture and voice control. In addition, passengers can use a HOLOLENS which projects a virtual interface via augmented reality. However, there are still two rotary/pushbutton controls on the centre console to enable the intuitive manual control of functions such as entertainment volume control. These controls can also fully stop the car.
The Vizzion’s virtual host recognises its occupants by biometric facial recognition or electronic device, such as a smartphone, and is able to call up settings from the cloud via the Volkswagen ID, automatically adjusting the settings for individual occupants. The profile for the Volkswagen ID can control parameters such as seating, lighting, climate control and infotainment (including streaming services).
In addition, the virtual assistant reacts predictively to a wide variety of events and relevant points of interest. For example, if the car is approaching a traffic jam that cannot be avoided, the interactive assistant automatically communicates the new arrival time for the given destination. The car can also be interconnected with digital devices, including fitness trackers. Via these and/or the HOLOLENS, the I.D. Vizzion tracks the vital parameters of its passengers.
The Vizzion is being revealed at this month’s Geneva Motor Show