The VW van of the future

11th January 2018

Volkswagen and NVIDIA have shared their vision for how AI and deep learning will shape the development of a new generation of intelligent Volkswagen vehicles. At the kickoff of the 2018 International CES, Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang discussed on stage how AI is transforming the auto industry and highlighted the new I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen's exciting new rebirth of the iconic Volkswagen MicroBus, reimagined in electric car form and infused with AI technology for the cockpit and self-driving.

"Artificial intelligence is revolutionising the car," Diess said. "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future."

"In just a few years, every new vehicle should have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality," Huang said. "Working with Volkswagen, we are creating a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone."

One exciting potential outcome of AI infusion into Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ are "Intelligent Co-Pilot" capabilities, which will include convenience and assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car. The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving. Thanks to deep learning, the car of the future will learn to accurately assess situations and analyse the behaviour of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions.

Building on the NVIDIA Drive IX Intelligent Experience platform, AI-enabled features such as facial recognition for unlocking the vehicle from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for flawless voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts are all possible.

The I.D. BUZZ is part of the I.D. family with which Volkswagen will launch its electric car campaign and gradually introduce autonomous driving starting in 2020. More than 20 fully electric vehicles are planned by 2025 toward its goal of becoming the world leader in this area.

These new models are based on the completely new MEB car architecture that is consistently geared towards zero-emission, digital mobility and make use of the electric drive's overall package benefits. Using a battery that is integrated flat in the chassis floor, and a compact drive system, they offer a generous and highly variable interior. To this end, pioneering technologies are available from the electric compact car segment, such as the operating concept featuring an augmented-reality head-up display. From the start, the models based on the MEB architecture will offer the very latest assistance systems and will be prepared for the respective levels of autonomous driving that are available. The MEB electronic systems will also be gradually introduced to vehicles with conventional drive systems that are based on the MQB architecture.


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