Volkswagen teases the ID Vizzion autonomous car again

Brief glimpses of a possible self-driving future ahead of Geneva show

  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept
  • Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept
  • Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept
Volkswagen's digitally assembling the components of its vision for the autonomous future, the next puzzle piece being the reveal of the I.D. Vizzion concept at the Geneva Motor Show. VW just released an overhead photo of the cabin, revealing circumambient LED lighting at the base of the greenhouse and a geometric LED filigree laid atop the cabin-length center console, and another photo of a woman enjoying an espresso in a beautiful floating chair. These follow a couple of two-second teaser videos — that's right, two seconds — of a wide, thin headlight and a hologram we'll assume represents an interaction with the digital chauffeur.

The fourth member of VW's conceptual electric tribe, after the I.D. hatchback, I.D. Crozz SUV and I.D. Buzz Microbus, the I.D. Vizzion stands aloof from its trio of relations by being longer, wider and much nicer. As long as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and classified by Volkswagen as a "premium-class MPV," this fully-autonomous concept aims at people who can't drive due to either age or infirmity.

Since those kinds of occupants are literally only along for the ride and won't have controls or switchgear to fiddle with, the I.D. Vizzion's devoted to caring for everyone inside. Occupants can interact with the digital chauffeur via voice and hand gestures, the AI host learns each occupant's preferences, and can respond by voice or with augmented reality displays. VW calls this scenario "complete embedding into the digital ecosystem," which makes it sound like we won't have to wait until 2049 for a "Blade Runner" sequel.

If we get a production car based on the I.D. Vizzion, it won't come for a few years; the I.D. production schedule begins with the hatchback, due around 2020. We wouldn't be surprised, however, to see some Vizzion tricks end up in a resurrected Phaeton. VW's last thrust at a premium sedan ended production in 2015, but appears to be on track for an all-electric reboot in 2020.

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