VW Golf R Touch Actually Can Use Touchless, Gesture Controls

“Future mobility will be even more intelligent.”

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept vehicle features an infotainment system that incorporates gesture control as the next step in the area of intuitive control.

In the sci-fi adventure, Minority Report, actor Tom Cruise sorts through a series of images that seem to be floating in the air simply by flicking them with his fingers. You may soon be able to do something similar in your car.

Automakers are showing off an array of virtual reality displays at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. That includes Volkswagen, which is giving a glimpse of what it has in mind with a concept car it has dubbed the Golf R Touch. But the name is something of a misnomer because you don’t necessarily have to touch anything to change the volume, adjust the temperature or operate other vehicle functions.

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Instead, the concept vehicle is equipped with a stereoscopic camera system that tracks your hand movements, reading your gestures rather than relying on your touch.

The automaker is also showing off a number of other advanced technologies at this year’s CES, including one that would allow the vehicle to park itself without anyone behind the wheel, a cordless inductive electric vehicle charging system, and new connectivity systems designed to seamlessly operate smartphone apps from a car’s infotainment system.

In addition to featuring gesture controls for many operations, the Golf R Touch can also park itself.

“The two inventions of the century, the car and the computer, are gradually coming closer together. We need to design future mobility to be even more intelligent and even more networked,” said Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen AG.

A growing number of vehicles are abandoning traditional gauges and displays, as well as buttons and knobs, for touchscreen displays. A motorist controls virtually all the functions of the Tesla Model S sedan, for example, with a touchscreen the size of one found on a laptop computer.

The Cadillac CUE infotainment system, meanwhile, has a proximity sensor that can tell when the driver is reaching for the touchscreen display atop its instrument panel. It then adds a number of additional icons to the image to let the driver, for one thing, zoom in on a map.

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The Golf R would go a step further. Using that 3D camera system it not only can tell when you are reaching for the central display but also precisely know where your hands and fingers are. And you can set the system to show a virtual shadow of your hand so you know what controls are being operated with a touchless gesture.

(Click Here for details on Mercedes new autonomous concept.)

Like the Cadillac system, the Golf R also gives haptic back – a little kick – when you actually have to make physical with a button on the display.

(To see more about Toyota giving away fuel cell patents, Click Here.)

The images don’t actually float in space like those in the Minority Report, but that technology may not be all that far away.

Jaguar recently revealed a prototype “Ghost Car” system in which a phantom vehicle appears to be driving in front of you as you stare out your windshield when you have a destination programmed into the navigation system. When it’s time to exit a freeway or change direction, you would simply follow the ghost car as it appeared to be making the turn, rather than having to interpret lines and arrows on the navi display.

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One Response to “VW Golf R Touch Actually Can Use Touchless, Gesture Controls”

  1. Jorge says:

    AMD has been developing hand gesture PC ops for quite some time. Personally I don’t care for it. I find touch screens OK up to a point though I would not use Win 8.1 touch screen to operate a PC because it’s not efficient or a desirable means. While touch screens are useful on phones and small portable devices the majority of people refuse to use them for PCs and for good reason.

    In addition when these auto systems crash / fail, it will be a cluster to operate the vehicle as we’ve already seen when “I-drive” style control centers go FUBAR.

    Just because a certain technology exist does not mean it’s suitable for all the applications where it could be used. Knowing what is useful and practical vs. a gimmick is what separates the good designs from the clusters.

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