Remember a time where cars communicated with you, going so far as to display loving messages across its light bar? Or the time where your VW valet parked itself for you?
Neither do we. But Volkswagen's already dreaming of such possibilities, going so far as to launch three virtual concepts for the year 2028 at its 'Volkswagen 2028' web site. All three concepts are envisioned as environmentally friendly vehicles with advanced connectivity features, but each has a unique purpose.
Take the One, for instance. In its lowered state, the one-passenger three-wheeler looks a lot like the GM Lean machine concept of the '80s, but after sliding the rear wheels forward, the One allows for easy entry and egress from the cabin, as well as a stacked parking arrangement.
The One is intended mostly for urban commuters, who benefit from the car's wireless ad-hoc network. By networking with nearby drivers, any car can receive real-time traffic information based upon other drivers' experiences. The same technology, which Volkswagen calls Car2X, can be used by cities to manage traffic flow by prompting drivers onto different routes, or grouping cars into automated caravans.
A similar autopilot feature is installed on the Room, although it's mostly intended to allow the driver to converse with other passengers. A slippery five-passenger MPV, the Room not only gives families a practical vehicle, but a mobile living room, as well. Families could also enjoy the Room's personalization features, including exterior lighting, interior hues, and exterior paint colors and patterns that could be modified at the touch of a button.
But for those who desire the most control over the vehicle, VW's proposed the Ego, a two-seat sports car designed for those with - well, themselves in mind. Aside from a customizable exterior, the Ego is also fitted with a range of active safety systems, all of which keep watch over the car's path and blind spots. Should an accident or obstacle loom in the distance, the Ego displays information to the driver in a heads-up display and readies other safety systems (e.g. electronic stability control) to prepare for evasive maneuvers.
Certainly, all three cars are complete flights-of-fancy, but it's encouraging to note that VW, as indicated on the website, is already working on the seeds of such advanced technology. Although we have our particular favorites, VW is looking for your input on just what you'd like to see in the car of the future.
Take a look for yourself, and let your voice be heard at www.volkswagen2028.com