LIVE FROM CES 2016: Rocked by the emissions-test scandal in the US, Volkswagen came to Vegas to apologise, and looked towards the future with two electric cars which offer connectivity and IoT as central features.
“The current issue is nothing to be proud of, we disappointed the American people, and we are disappointed this could happen in a company we love. I assure we are doing everything to make it right,” said Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen brand.
He was referring to the company’s admission that it installed software in some diesel models in the US that enabled the vehicles to pass government emission tests, but then pollute way over the allowed levels on the road.
Diess said the company is working with the US authorities and is “confident we will find solutions” to bring 500,000 vehicles into line with US regulations. He is optimistic of gaining approval from the authorities “in the coming weeks and months”.
The company also wanted to present a contrasting vision of where it is heading. This included two new electric cars. First up was the E-Golf Touch, which the firm’s head of electronics development, Volkmar Tanenberger, described as “a smartphone on wheels”.
Among the E-Golf Touch’s features are a homescreen featuring favourite content, speech recognition, the option to integrate wireless phone charging in the car and a speed warning.
Among its features, users can merge their interests into a common list on its screen, so effectively substituting the vehicle’s single screen for their individual ones during a road trip, for example. Budd-e is also designed to be part of a smart home, so for instance users can remote access their home from the vehicle’s dashboard. Volkswagen worked on its development with LG and German startup Bird Home.