The notion of having a car that can talk to the owner might be interesting and thanks to modern technologies, this can’t be far from reality. A decent amount of cars now have unique technologies that allows occupants to have some meaningful communication with their cars or the other way around because it’s all faster and cooler.
While there are alternatives such as heads-up display, there are also voice control systems which can be similar to what have been in place with smart home speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo but Volkswagen wants to take things to another level with the ID 4.
The technology used on this is called the ID. Light which is a long strip of 54 LED which span the width of the car’s dashboard and uses colors and patterns to communicate information to either the driver or the passengers.
Some of those include sweeping in the direction of navigation instructions, filling up as an indicator of charging status, and acting as a visual waveform for the car’s virtual assistant. The light is positioned to be in the driver’s peripheral vision, so they can still safely focus on the road even while receiving information.
The technology uses some sensors that knows when the driver steps into the ID. 4 which turns the ID. Light to some greetings with a welcoming animation in white and blue colors and the light does the reverse pattern when the driver is about getting off the car.
Alerts such as incoming phone calls creates a green pulse in the center while there are warnings in the case of emergency braking which flashes red lights.
A recent comment passed by the head of User Interface design at Volkswagen Mathias Kuhn, has it that they “ were looking for a new kind of communication between the car and the human. We wanted to create a minimalistic, yet revolutionary interaction that was both easy to understand and emotional.”
VW also believes it will help reduce distractions.
“As screens in the vehicle grow bigger, it can take more time for your brain to look at the display and process all the information you need to receive from them,” said Stefan Franke, the “father” of the part at Volkswagen. “Even hearing a navigation system tell you a direction makes your brain pause a second to understand the remark. We knew we needed to find new ways to communicate with drivers to help minimize distractions from the driving task.”
The ID. Light is also present on the ID. 3 which is the second EV from Volkswagen to have this user interface as its standard.