Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #170380 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    Volkswagen is working on a host of new technology, including fly-by-wire steering, a driver-facing interior camera and an intelligent chassis

    by: Luke Wilkinson
    30 Nov 2021

    Volkswagen has announced plans to make its next-generation vehicles smarter, safer and more comfortable. The brief was outlined in a recent innovation talk with the brand’s head of driving dynamics, Karsten Schebsdat.

    The first (and arguably most interesting) development the company has in the works is a new steer-by-wire system. Volkswagen hasn’t delved too deeply into the finer details of how it works, but Auto Express understands the system will replace its conventional steering column with a sensor behind the wheel which controls an electric motor on the rack.

    The technology would remove the physical connection between the driver and the front wheels. It’s as-yet unclear whether the system will feature on both the brand’s future combustion cars and electric vehicles, but the prototype vehicle in the company’s video clip is an ID.3 – suggesting the system has been earmarked for the brand’s EVs.

    Volkswagen is also working on a new chassis system which it claims will make its next-generation vehicles more comfortable. And it’s not just for EVs, as the technology looks set to appear on a new generation of combustion-powered cars, as the firm is using the current Arteon as a test mule for the technology.

    The company hasn’t yet confirmed how its new chassis works but, judging by the brand’s press material, the system will feature some front-facing sensors to read the road surface and preload the dampers in response to the road conditions, helping to smooth out the ride.

    On the safety front, Schebsdat says Volkswagen is considering an interior camera to monitor the driver’s sightlines – especially now that semi-autonomous driving functions are getting cleverer and there’s more opportunities for the driver to take their eyes off the road. The new steer-by-wire system will also support features like the brand’s Travel Assist system.

    Volkswagen is also looking to improve the performance of its future EVs – but not just by bolting in bigger batteries. Schebsdat said: “I think the amount of weight that comes into play by the batteries… [it] is very difficult right now to say how much lighter they will be in the future. It’s a major contributor to the weight increase in comparison to combustion engined cars.

    “On the other hand, we could reduce the weight by using new body techniques so the body of the car could be lighter – we’re discussing that. In terms of the performance of the cars, we are definitely working on increasing the performance as well.

    “We’re discussing right now some hardware like torque splitters and a second electric engine on the rear axle. All that stuff – like torque vectoring – could implement as well a higher performance level than one that we have just reached by the ID.4 GTX. It will be a compromise, I think. But the next generation of electric GTIs, or whatever they will be called, will perform better.”

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #170383 Reply
    ChrisK
    Participant

    All this of course depends on if they can get the chips or not. 😁

    #170391 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Not too keen on steer-by-wire without a physical backup. Moreover, some of this isn’t new. The “smart” chassis idea was tried, and worked, decades ago by Lotus.

    #170399 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Yea Tharg. What happens is the wire snaps?😱☠️👻

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #170429 Reply
    Rene
    Participant

    Not too keen on steer-by-wire without a physical backup. Moreover, some of this isn’t new. The “smart” chassis idea was tried, and worked, decades ago by Lotus.

    Not a fan of drive by wire either.

    What Lotus did was entirely different. Not just considerably simpler, but something else entirely that you can spec as option in many cars nowadays – active suspension, or dynamic suspension. Sensors that stiffen suspension independently to reduce roll etc – or soften suspension on the press of a button.

    They also didn’t invent it, Citroen did 30 years prior. Lotus only refined it through computer assistance. The Citroen DS for example had said hydropneumatic suspension. Lotus just made it electronically actuated.

    The closest, in my opinion, to the proposed new system are skyhook systems, like the Cadillac RSS (road sensing suspension) and the Toyota Celsior Skyhook. Even the Nissan Cedric with its DUET-SS Super Sonic Suspension system (had to google the name, too awesome not to mention).

    Difference here being that they use Sonar, and not camera based systems. The effect is the same though, i assume. The Lotus system was reactive (as soon as a sensor reads load/lean, it reacts) whereas these newer skyhook systems are active, “reading” the road ahead and adjusting accordingly.

    It actually looks quite impressive, as can be seen here:

    And yes, you’re seeing that right. It actually jumps the car over an obstacle.

    Current: SEAT Ateca Xcellence Lux 1.5 TSI DSG MY19
    On Order: VW Golf GTE PHEV DSG MY22

    #170434 Reply
    ajn

    Looks great

    #170439 Reply
    DumfriesDik
    Participant

    We fly by wire these days, doing the steering should be a doddle.

    Love that video @Rene

    Mazda CX5 is my DD
    VW ID3 Max on order 5 Nov 21

    #170459 Reply
    vinalspin
    Participant

    I had a Vauxhall Meriva that had an electric steering rack and it developed a common fault that Vauxhall tried to deny for years where the power assist would stop working every now and then when turning, I can tell you that when your turning a corner and you suddenly lose all power assist and can’t turn the wheel (as without it the steering was so heavy it would barely move)it was terrifying, I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was fly by wire and a component failed or even just had a glitch like all electronics can do! 😲

    Not for me thanks!

    #170498 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    It is true that nearly all airliners are fly-by-wire (fbw) today. Both the electrical and computer networkery is four- or five-times redundant so unlikely that all ten or so systems will fail at once. I believe it is correct that no accidents have been caused by fbw breaking. However, the aviation industry has spent decades and billions of quid getting fbw right. Introduced a little at a time. Checked, double checked in endless test flights.

    They would never introduce a new system without extensive testing and a back-up on early systems.  But this seems to be exactly what car makers are planning to do with steer-by-wire. If you want proof that automotive digital stuff breaks, just look at those Tesla owners who were recently locked out of, or inside, their vehicles. If a digital door can stop working then so can a steering system. Sadly, our cars are not equipped with zero-zero ejector seats like many test aircraft!

    #170500 Reply
    Rene
    Participant

    They would never introduce a new system without extensive testing and a back-up on early systems. But this seems to be exactly what car makers are planning to do with steer-by-wire. If you want proof that automotive digital stuff breaks, just look at those Tesla owners who were recently locked out of, or inside, their vehicles. If a digital door can stop working then so can a steering system. Sadly, our cars are not equipped with zero-zero ejector seats like many test aircraft!

    I mean.. Most modern cars have throttle by wire, some of them have gearselect by wire, these are not new systems. And they’re reliable.

    If it was something edge of the pants high tech never seen before stuff, sure. It’s not. It’s well understood, plenty used already and is just consequential to take it to that level. The reason i don’t like steer by wire is the same reason for not liking electronic steering in the first place, it feels “off”, doesn’t give as much “feeling” for the ground you’re driving on. Not because the technology is in any way, shape or form dangerous.

    Then, your Tesla example. I’m pretty sure you misread something somewhere, but nothing stopped working on the car. Everything was working perfectly fine. What failed was the servers that Tesla owners connect to when they use their phones as key. They couldn’t give the command to open the lock, even though the lock was working perfectly fine, because that command goes to the Tesla server, and from there to the car. That’s not to say that Tesla doors haven’t failed before, they sure have. So have mechanical doors, at a similar rate. Point being, it has nothing to do with an electronic component in the car failing.

    In the end, a company will not release a car where 30% of them crash into trees because the steering stops working. The lawsuits and resulting mass-recalls without option to retro-fit a mechanical steering link (rendering the cars non-operable) would ruin any car manufacturer.

    Current: SEAT Ateca Xcellence Lux 1.5 TSI DSG MY19
    On Order: VW Golf GTE PHEV DSG MY22

    #170555 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Okay, Rene, I take your points on board. All I’m trying to say is that car makers should be very careful when introducing new digital stuff, particularly stuff as vital and potentially dangerous as steer-by-wire. I do not think they have done so with the flood of touch-screen systems entering cars now and I just hope that they will do better with the steering stuff.

    I hear what you say about Tesla but the fact remains that a digital thing stopped working and caused problems.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
Reply To: Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable
Your information: