VW Modular Infotainment System

The next Volkswagen Golf will be chock-full of standard and optional technology features, but its all-new Modular Infotainment System has the potential to set a new benchmark for both high-end and entry-level navigation, entertainment and connectivity.

Three new systems will be available when the 2013 Golf goes on sale in Europe towards the end of this year, starting with a five-inch touchscreen and moving up to a 5.8-inch unit and finally a range-topping eight-inch system. Each unit will be equipped with a capacitive touchscreen, with the eight-inch version packing an 800x450 resolution screen, multitouch functionality and the same NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor set to debut in future Audi models, including the next A3. Making use of that high-powered chipset will be revamped 3D graphics for menus and mapping, with free nav updates available for three years and the ability to activate additional features after the initial vehicle purchase.

Handwriting recognition will also be included in the system, much like the system already offered by Audi, which will allow users to skip the soft keyboard and write out destinations and point-of-interest searches. Additionally, VW is looking to include MirrorLink functionality (which essentially mirrors your phone's screen on the navigation display), as expected, Internet-connectivity through smartphone tethering will be an option, along with the ability to create a WLAN hotspot.

Finally, VW tells Autoblog it plans to integrate proximity sensors into the head unit – similar to Cadillac's CUE system – switching over from "display mode" to "operating mode" when it detects the driver or passenger's hand moving towards the screen. The proximity sensors could also detect which side of the screen your hand is placed and then highlight specific features for easier selection.

Naturally, pricing for each system won't be released until the Golf goes on sale in Europe this fall and hits the U.S. sometime in 2013, but VW representatives made it clear that these systems will be priced aggressively in order to compete with other feature-rich competitors.