Volkswagen is previewing the next generation of its high-end infotainment system at CES this year on a car called the e-Golf Touch. And here's the best part: the electric e-Golf is a real car, and much of what the company is showing in it will actually make it to production vehicles starting soon.
The car is a follow-up to last CES's Golf R Touch, another production car warmed over with not-quite-production-ready tech features — it's just that they're closer to production now. This year, the e-Golf Touch features a big 9.2-inch touchscreen, gesture controls so adjust simple controls like volume with a wave of the hand, wireless phone charging in both the front and rear seats, and a USB Type-C port, which is pretty wild considering that VW didn't even offer USB ports at all until recently.
But really, those are the boring features here. The more novel ones are things like voice amplification, where the driver and front passenger are picked up by embedded mics and piped over speakers in the rear passenger compartment so it's easier to carry a conversation. The car can also have many functions controlled over a Wi-Fi-connected tablet, good for back-seat passengers who want to change the radio. And then there's "Personalization 2.0," which lets a visiting driver customize the car according to settings they've got in the cloud. That's great for ride-sharing.
And, yes, the e-Golf Touch has a next-generation voice control system with voice activation, meaning you don't need to press a button to say a command — you can just start it with "Hello Volkswagen." It's basically VW's "Hey Siri," "OK Google," or "Alexa."
Expect most, if not all, of these features to make their way to production Volkswagens starting this year.