Volkswagen Announces an “Open-Source” Approach to Creating Autonomous Car OS

Volkswagen will be using the so-called “open-source” model to refine parts of its software operating system for its future vehicles. “Open-source” meaning collaborators outside of VW would help them create standards for vehicle operation systems. Perhaps they would come from other car companies or even from completely outside the auto industry.

With the gathering ubiquity of autonomous driving, any carmaker attempting to create a self-driving vehicle has to create thousands of lines of code to collect and analyze data from radar, cameras, sonic sensors etc and then the operation system must use this analyzed data to control the brakes and steering at the least.

VW, by 2025, wants to increase its involvement with developing its own software to 60%. Current VW is involved in only about 10% of the design. They’d also like to get more involved in electronics and vehicle architecture design.

VW stated the believe in the future, because of the use of open-source software, there will likely be fewer operating systems than there are car makers. Like with home computers and smart phones there are basically two choices Windows or Macintosh, Android or iOS.

VW wants to define the core operating system but is interested in collaborators to refine other elements of its functionality. All of this in the hopes of creating standards that could be used in a circle wider than just VW vehicles.

VW Announces New Electric SUV and Sports Models

German automaker Volkswagen announced its new electric performance vehicle will be based on the ID 4 SUV which will include the gas model’s 4-wheel drive.

Volkswagen noted that these initial electric performance cars will be intended toward a different audience than long-time GTI fans. Using the ID 4 is then a good idea as with that dual motor set up that provides extra power and 4-wheel drive they can appeal to customers that would never be interested in a the single-motor, rear-wheel drive ID 3 format.

The first ID 4 offering will have just a rear wheel drive engine which will give the car 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque from a read electric motor. The 4-wheel drive model will follow, which will add a front motor and increasing output to 302bhp and 332lb ft of torque. These models will be available with several battery options, the best offering about 310 miles of range.

The ID 4s will be followed up with a coupe version, the ID 5. A GTX version of the ID 5 is in the works as well.

 

Volkswagen Rolls Out Last Ever Beetles

An automotive icon will soon start a slow fade that will end in museums and collectors’ garages as Volkswagen saw the last Beetle roll of the assembly line. Is the end of a road that began in Nazi Germany, wound its way through the counterculture of the hippies in the U.S., but failed to find its way into the hearts of modern consumers who crave SUVs.
The final units of the retro, rounded compact rolled off the line accompanied by the music of a mariachi band as the workers of the VW plant in Puebla, Mexico celebrated the model that was introduced more than 80 years ago in Germany.

Thankfully the Puebla factory is in no danger—it produces VW’s Tiguan SUV and will take up the task of producing the Tarek SUV in place of the Beetle (late 2020). The last Beetles will be sold on Amazon.com, a decision that perfectly encapsulates Volkswagen’s willingness to move forward into the future.

Lovingly known by many as “The Bug,” the beetle made its debut in 1938. It was created at the behest of Adolf Hitler who wanted an car Germans could afford to increase the countries automobile ownership.

VW Cross Coupe Concept

The VW Cross Coupe GTE is a five passenger hybrid SUV. The talk is it will become a seven seater when it goes into production in Chattanooga lat 2016. (GT stands for Grand Tourer or Gran Turismo and E as in electric – thus GTE.)

It combines 276 hp 3.6 liter VR6 engine with two electric motors and all-wheel drive. The front electric motor is 54 hp and the rear is 114 hp. When fully charged, the lithium ion battery will go 20 miles when on electric power only.

There are different operating modes:
E-mode – all electric (up to 20 miles – uses rear motor only)
Hybrid – default mode – uses engine and both motors – emphasis on fuel efficiency
GTE – uses engine and both motors – emphasis on performance
Off-road – front motor will act as a generator to ensure power makes way to rear motor and wheels – emphasis that power gets to all four wheels
Battery Hold/Battery Charge – allows to plan ahead for city driving and keeps energy levels constant and will continue to charge while driving.

The interior boasts a 10.1 inch display for information. The main instruments are digital even though they may look like traditional analog.

VW Cross Coupe GTE Concept

IMG_0333