Along with all the talk about Apple and Google’s upcoming infotainment systems (CarPlay and Android Auto respectively) there’s also a bit of a buzz around some of the world’s automakers and how they plan to release their own advanced, interconnected head units and back-end systems. VW is one of those firms with a lot of its own plans and it began showing them off at the electronics show CES in Las Vegas yesterday.
Its system is called MirrorLink, or at least it will be internationally. In America, it will act as the sequel to the company’s previous local release of its Modular Infotainment Platform, otherwise known as MIB II. No word on why it’s not called MIP II.
Much like Apple and Google’s systems, MirrorLink will allow for the integration of a smartphone’s various app functions, taking on applications from many third parties including Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony, allowing you to broadcast that phone’s screen to your in-car one, or just link up for added processing, storage and application integration.
While that alone gives drivers a lot more function than they’ve had before in a VW vehicle, it doesn’t stop there. In the new Golf for example, users will be able to interact with the infotainment system via gestures. These are picked up by interior cameras. While VW didn’t touch on the privacy protection aspect of such a feature, it did talk up the fact that the infotainment functions and certain aspects of the vehicle could be controlled by waving your hand(s) around in a certain way.
Other controls will include several large touch screens which either the driver or passenger can interact with while on the move. “The Golf R Touch is equipped with three displays: the 12.8-inch high-resolution infotainment system touchscreen; a Control Center (8.0-inch with touch feedback) arranged beneath it to control vehicle, climate control and media functions; and an Active Information Display (12.3in)” a VW spokesperson said in a statement.
VW also talked up the new Golf in other ways, pointing out its many advanced safety features, such as proximity sensors which not only keeps it safer while on the move (with smart cruise control) but can also let it park itself. With the piloted parking system, drivers will not only be able to find a spot themselves and then tell the car to park itself in it for them, but will even be able to tell the car to go and find a familiar parking spot itself, leaving it to do it all automatically. It won’t work in a huge open car park or in one that the car is unfamiliar with, but if you hold its hand through a few steps, the new Golf should be able to drop you off and go and park itself.
This is still in the somewhat prototype phase, so we’ll have to wait and see when the car is released later this year to find out how clever it really is, but it’s certainly exciting to see the infotainment and automated functions of the near-future vehicles becoming a reality before long.
Image source: AutoZeitung