The Volkswagen BUDD-e concept is the ultimate in automotive interconnectedness.
In fact, the German manufacturers describes the hi-tech van as a mobile interface that connects with the world around it rather than merely a vehicle.
It is capable of seamlessly communicating with any smart Home or office, featuring next-generation infotainment technologies and offering an advanced new method of operation and information processing, BUDD-e turns travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience: featuring touch and gesture controls which enable the removal of switches and buttons inside the cabin.
Individual displays blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors, provide the driver with a viewer of what is following. The convergence of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems provides a view of potential applications in Volkswagen products in the next decade.
Volkswagen claims its new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The BUDD-e has a range of 373 kilometres when fully charged.
The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 30 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs.
The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle.
MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport.
With BUDD-e’s interface design, Volkswagen eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the centre console infotainment system. In a move towards comprehensive digitalization and the individualization of the driver’s workplace, these two areas have been merged to form a single information hub.
All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated intuitively by gesture control, touchscreen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The driver can choose between various intuitive control modes (multi-modal interaction).
For example, a simple “Hello BUDD-e” activates the vehicle’s voice control. The system also offers completely natural speech interaction. For example, if the driver asks “turn the heat up a bit, please”, the car will respond immediately and appropriately.
The system is also able to locate the passenger giving the commands, and react accordingly. If, for instance, someone sitting in the left rear seat says “It’s too hot here”, BUDD-e can immediately lower the temperature in that passenger’s zone.