Jammin' Out: VW Launching Traffic-Jam Assist on Atlas Cross Sport

The in-car communications finally upgrade to 4G LTE, as well.

Volkswagen is adding a new Traffic Jam Assist system as standard equipment to SEL and SEL Premium trim levels of its upcoming Atlas Cross Sport going on sale early next year. The safety and convenience feature uses the front camera and front radar sensors to provide full-stop adaptive cruise control from zero to 37 mph, and accompanies lane-tracking/-keeping assist and Dynamic Road Display on the upcoming two-row version of the VW Atlas SUV.

The automaker also unveiled its second-generation Car-Net internet and app-connectivity platform, which includes an upgrade to 4G LTE. Car-Net MkII comes on every 2020-model Volkswagen sold in the U.S. except the e-Golf and a handful of early '20 model Passats.

Traffic Jam Assist only will be available on the Cross Sport so far. VW wouldn't confirm it, but expect the technology to spread through the lineup eventually, beginning probably with the three-row version of the Atlas.

The technology works as advertised. The active lane-tracking gently guides the wheel through the turns, and the active cruise control keeps the Cross Sport's distance from the vehicle ahead, right down to zero mph. (Lane-tracking must be activated for Traffic Jam Assist to work.) It will automatically accelerate if traffic has moved and the complete stop lasts no more than three seconds and your feet are off either pedal. Stop for more than three seconds, and the system will again accelerate, up to 37 mph, either by tapping the throttle pedal or the cruise control's "resume" button on the steering wheel. Dynamic Road Display reads speed-limit signs and no-passing zone signs and displays them on the instrument panel.

Car-Net offers three different services, beginning with remote access via a proprietary smartphone app. It's free for five years, and a '20 VW owner only has to opt in to use the service, which includes remote start, package delivery, door-open warnings, window control, last location parked, fuel-level monitoring, and fuel-mileage data. Later in the year, VW Car-Net subscribers will be able to start their vehicles or check fuel levels via compatible smart home devices, too. A parking feature uses the Parkopedia app to find open spaces, and in VWs equipped with factory navigation systems, directions to the spot may be sent to the vehicle.

The Safe & Secure package, for $99 per year, offers information assistance, emergency assistance, automatic crash notification, anti-theft alert, and stolen-vehicle location assistance. This service automatically renews at the end of the year for another $99, if the customer does not cancel.

Car-Net Hot-Spot turns the VW into an internet hotspot, linking up to four devices to 4G LTE wi-fi. Current Verizon customers can simply add a '20 VW to their existing plans. Customers of other cellular companies may add the car or SUV for $20 per month, plus taxes and fees.