Volkswagen Aims for a Button-less Interior to Avoid Driver Distraction

Volkswagen Golf R Touch interior 1 photo
Photo: volkswagen
Volkswagen may be dealing with a sudden drop in stock value and could face the biggest fine ever recorded in the history of the automotive industry, but the Germans are still looking towards the future.
Speaking to Car Advice at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015, the company’s head of development, Heinz-Jakob Neusser said that Volkswagen will be aiming to provide its customers with button-less interiors.

Don’t think of it as a way of showing off, though, the official claims that all of it will be done so that driver distractions are reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, if you think that means we’ll have displays everywhere for every single function, you’re also in the wrong.

“It’s done this way so that you can use it in the single best way, intuitively,” Neusser said. “That means there are certain functions that can, very intuitively, easily be controlled by gesture. Opening, closing, wiping and so on, that’s the easiest way to do it. But it’s not the best way [for everything]. If you look, for example, to navigation positioning or something like this, it’s best to have it with voice control.”

This combination would drastically reduce the need for buttons, making future interiors look like spaceships. Of course, certain functions will still be activated the old fashion way just because that will be considered the most appropriate way for it to work.

The Germans already have this technology at hand, but they just didn’t put it into production just yet. For example, their Golf R Touch model, showcased at Las Vegas and Shanghai was fitted with displays by the plentiful and even gesture control via a 3D sensor installed in the headliner.

Other companies are also looking into this kind of tech and some even put it into production already. For example, BMW now has become the world’s first manufacturer to offer gesture control in a production car with its 2016 7 Series. Couple that with improved voice control software and we’re looking at models close to what Volkswagen is already talking about.
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