We have known for while now that autonomous cars are a fact of daily life in the near future. But still, this phenomenon remains for the most part an abstract idea that a lot of people can’t get their head around. That might soon change, though. You know automated driving is here when a car like the VW Passat is getting it.
Well, it’s a partial system for now, but the new Passat, to be launched at the next Geneva Motor Show in March, will boast a new system called Travel Assist which works with IQ.DRIVE. I know, that sounds strange and all. And we would have made fun of it, had it been presented on an outlandish concept or design study. But this is the new 2020 VW Passat we’re talking about – the car of the people. And it’s getting a partial automated driving system capable of navigating itself at any speed (0 to 210 km/h). It is a small leap from there to fully autonomous vehicles and connected cars.
Actually, we might have already arrived at the age of connected cars. This very Passat also comes with an always-on infotainment system. The Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3) featured on this car as standard is permanently online via an integrated sim card. Such a system will undoubtedly offer many benefits and advantages. But it also raises some concerns about privacy. Good luck denying being somewhere when your car is always connected to the internet, which of course makes you extremely traceable.
While we are on the subject of the new Passat, let’s see what other new interesting technologies this car has which will soon be featured on any mid-range family sedan. Well, it has a capacitative steering wheel which works with the driver’s touch and activates “Emergency Steering Assist”, which in turn increases safety when performing evasive manoeuvres by means of braking interventions. There is also the interactive “IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights”, and all of this is tied together via a digital cockpit featuring enhanced high-contrast graphics display with multiple configurations.
Needless to say, such an advanced vehicle could be not be offered with only a bunch of fossil fuel-burning motors. So you get new variants such as the Passat GTE which has a hybrid system with a 218 PS output and a 55 to 70 km (depending on which cycle you are using to measure) of pure electric range. The new Passat, then, is right up the alley of the modern, tech-savvy buyers who can’t wait for full autonomy because s/he want to spend more time on the phone rather than behind the wheel. For this reason we reckon the 2020 Passat will be a hit with the customers. And for that very reason we already hate it!