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Volkswagen presents its electric self-driving Microbus concept ‘I.D BUZZ’ at Auto Show in Detroit

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Volkswagen is all set to trash off grievances of the past year and begins the year on a jolly good note. The company marched forward in an era of electric mobility and presented its I.D. BUZZ concept at the ongoing North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The idea revolves around the company’s widely popular Microbus, being equipped with a fully autonomous ‘I.D. Pilot’ driving mode with a seating capacity of eight people alongside two luggage compartments. And the highlight of the same being — no one drives it. Speaking on the same, Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management commented delightfully,

The I.D. BUZZ is a next-generation vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), offering comfort and plenty of space, The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future.

This concept vehicle is the world’s first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Micro-bus over to a completely new era of mobility.

The electric van will feature an electric driving range of up to 270 miles edging to its gasoline competitors. Further, with inbuilt autonomous capabilities, the driver’s seat can be easily swirled at 180-degrees facing the rear. The automobile will be an all-wheel drive powered via two motors that deliver 369 horsepower.

Seizing the tech to the most, the new Volkswagen vehicle will include a head-up display that projects information via augmented reality in the automobile. The concept focuses on ‘Connected Community’ and hence the developers have tried to integrate humans, cars, and the environment with their brand’s user identity.

As previously reported, the design seems to be inspired by the original, rear-engined bus introduced back in 1950. The company has also revealed its thought process behind the tag ‘I.D. BUZZ’ as it stands for identity, idea, individuality, intelligence and iconic design of the automobile with BUZZ representing the sound of the bus phonetically.

The concept will certainly layoff attention from the VW’s emission scandal and settlements that are underway. Learning from the past, one of the significant traits of the vehicle is being a zero-emissions vehicle. The company now plans to bring in a completely new electric vehicle architecture and to launch an entire generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market by 2020.

Moreover, the company’s target is to achieve sales of one million of these vehicles annually by the year 2025. This is the second in a row of concepts after the company presented its compact I.D. at the Paris Motor Show.

The automobile will offer spacious interiors having dimensions — 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall. This concept car features an 111 kWh battery that can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS). The vehicle could also be charged from any conventional household outlet and at charging stations.

Talking about the I.D. present in the name, it will recognize who is currently  at the wheel and will store information relative to the seating, air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations, songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. So, all in all, it will remember the likings of each individual.

Klaus Bischoff from VW explains the design for the vehicle as under:

The design of the concept places people as the focus; it should appeal to them and invite them to come in,From now on, we will be networking the vehicle much more intensively to make it more interactive. The interior will become a sort of family room, a mobile place where you feel at home.

The endeavors of the company are highly appreciable as the concept links the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The company neatly detailed about the concept in its press release making the fans go gaga!

Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.


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