Samsung’s reputation may have taken a beating following the overheating Galaxy Note 7 saga, but it’s nothing compared to the damage done to Volkswagen after last year’s revelations that it cheated on emissions tests. Now, the German car manufacturer is trying to repair customer trust with its electric and fully-autonomous concept car, the I.D.
Volkswagen showed off some images of the I.D. at the Paris Motor Show over the weekend. It also unveiled a futuristic short video of the car (below), demonstrating how features such as the “collect me” app and retractable steering wheel might work.
The car will be Volkswagen’s first vehicle to use its Modular Electric Drive Kit. The company says it will have a range of 373 miles on just a single charge, and that all its future electric cars will be based on the I.D’s design, using similar parts and component.
Volkswagen wants the I.D. to be its first fully autonomous vehicle. The steering wheel disappears into the dashpad when drivers touch the logo, activating the self-driving I.D. pilot mode. The feature may not available when the car launches in 2020, but the company promises the system will be available in the I.D. by 2025.
Other specs include a 168bhp electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, wireless charging with the option of plugging it into the mains, and the ability to charge up to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes. Moreover, the trunk can be used as mailbox, whereby delivery services can locate the car using GPS and are granted permission to open the trunk using an app and drop off parcels. Owners are then notified of the delivery and the boot is locked. "Volkswagen is currently working with international logistics service providers to implement this innovative concept," the company says.
It will take time before people can trust Volkswagen after it used special software to beat emissions testing. While the company refused to relate the I.D. with Dieselgate, it no doubt sees an electric car as a step toward repairing its damaged reputation and showing it can be an eco-friendly company.