Volkswagen announced this week that its upcoming ID.3 electric car will communicate with drivers and passengers using an LED light bar embedded in the dashboard. The LED display flashes, moves, and changes colors to acknowledge instructions received via voice commands and to make turning and braking suggestions to the driver.
A VW press release says, “The ID.3, the first model from the new all-electric ID. family stands for the future of the Volkswagen brand — with a large range, impressive driving dynamics, pioneering design and the innovative ID. Light concept. The intelligent light concept in the interior supports the driver visually and makes communication with the ID.3 more emotional.”
“An LED strip that runs across the cockpit assists the driver by changing colour according to the current function. Once they have settled into the driver seat, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by the driver assist and navigation systems and signals braking prompts and incoming phone calls. In conjunction with the navigation system, ID.
“Light reduces the stress of driving in traffic. By blinking, it recommends changing lanes and can also warn the driver if their ID.3 is in the wrong lane. ID. Light also supports voice control — it responds to the voices of vehicle occupants by sending a light signal. This indicates whether the voice control assistant is responding to the driver or the front passenger.”
Valentina Wilhelm, user experience designer for Volkswagen says, “For all its innovativeness, ID. Light functions intuitively by using familiar colors. A fully charged battery is indicated by the color green whereas a warning such as a braking maneuver is indicated by red. While on the exterior, the headlights imitate eye movements, light lends the interior additional character. This use of light, makes the vehicle more ‘personable’ and is a very simple and intuitive way of communicating.”
For a demonstration of how the ID. Light system works, please see the example embedded in the Volkswagen press release. Click on each category to see the colors and motion the LED strip will display to the driver.
The ID. 3 is expected to go on sale in Europe next year. There are no plans to bring the car to North America at this time but presumably the ID. Light feature will also be available on the ID. Crozz, aka ID. 4, when it goes on sale in the US in 2021.
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