The Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept went live a day before the Geneva auto show, following its cousins the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz in a parade of new electric models that get us closer and closer to autonomous driving. The Vizzion promises Level 5 autonomy, which means it can operate solely on voice and gesture control, according to VW. It’s a vision (get it?!) of what may be possible by the year 2030.
The Vizzion will have a complicated artificial intelligence system that learns about new situations on the fly. VW explains that a lane keeping system works with mathematical parameters and the visual information from the cameras. This would work in the same manner — but in a way more complicated format. VW is using machine learning as we speak to train these systems, plugging in thousands of images of cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians so the camera can learn the difference between them. Eventually, it will be able to form its own conclusions AUTOMATICALLY. Yikes.
The Level 5 concept would conceivably use, according to VW, “inter-connected laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors for objects in the near-zone and radar sensors for long distances, front and rear cameras and side area view cameras.” Future vehicles will also be connected to each other, and that data can be used as well.
The concept rides on VW’s MEB architecture with two motors, two transmissions and electronics that link them, while a 111-kWh lithium-ion battery rides under the floor. A 101-hp motor sits in front with a 201-hp motor in back. VW says it will have a range of 413 miles on the European cycle.
The concept car is 203.3 inches long, 76.7 inches wide and 59.3 inches tall, but with a 122-inch roof. That will create more space for passengers, VW says. It looks a lot like a Tesla Model 3 to us in shape, but the VW is a good 19 inches longer.
The Vizzion has no dash panel and no traditional seats, either. The side windows darken for privacy and get transparent when you want to let some light in. Additionally, according to VW, “all guests aboard the I.D. Vizzion can, if they wish, use a ‘Hololens’ which projects a virtual interface into the real space by augmented reality.” We’re imagining four seats facing the center of the car with a hologram in the middle for everyone to mess with. Not sure how that would work with the kids …
There are also a couple rotary controls for you Luddites who might happen upon an I.D. Vizzion in the wild 12 years from now.
It will recognize you by “biometric facial recognition or electronic device, such as a smartphone,” and will adjust the car for your driving — make that riding — style. The virtual assistant can also suggest points of interest, relay a new arrival time and connect with your fitness tracker. “Maybe you should walk sometimes, Dave.”
The Vizzion is clearly a very futuristic concept in that VW is aiming for the 2030 model year. As wild as most of this stuff is, think about where we were in 2008 — very few autonomous features –with where we are today and where we’ll be in 2028. Seems a bit less far-fetched, no?
We’ll get a live look at the Geneva motor show this week.