In an announcement released earlier this week, Volkswagen revealed that the company will be undertaking a new safety initiative which aims to virtually eliminate all forms of traffic accidents and the fatalities that are sometimes associated with these horrible events. Known officially as “Vision Zero,” Volkswagen claims that this goal can be accomplished thanks to several new driver assistance systems that will aide drivers in driving and parking their vehicles. While the company did not reveal specific details on all the technologies it plans to unveil as part of this initiative, the company did reveal that autonomous driving technology will be part of the package and will be designed to offer part-time assistance while the vehicle is moving. In addition to this feat, Volkswagen also claims that it’s working on refining the system to allow it to take over steering and braking duties in the event of an emergency. Pedestrian detection software (which is already used by other firms such as Volvo) will be launched under this plan, and allow a vehicle to completely stop by itself (without driver involvement) if it senses a pedestrian in its path.
Even more impressive is a new feature which allows drivers to park their vehicle via a smartphone app. Volkswagen claims that this feature is intended to allow parking in a space that is too narrow to open the vehicles door’s from the inside. However this is not the first time that this technology has been suggested. Avid James Bond Fans (this author included) will recognize a variation of this particular capability from a key chase scene in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies, where the main character wirelessly controls a E38-era BMW 7 Series sedan via a specially modified cell phone.
In a brief statement, Volkswagen summarized these new technologies stating, “Current innovations by Volkswagen Development engineers working in the area of driver assistance and safety systems are other steps on the path towards accident-free mobility. In the future, they will offer further relief to drivers and make car driving significantly more relaxed, and above all safer for driver and passenger – and continue to guarantee the driving fun that is typical of Volkswagen cars.”
Volkswagen did not reveal the official timeframe of Vision Zero nor when it will officially go into effect. But look for some of these new technologies to gradually trickle down into future Volkswagen products in the near future which should please buyers that want optimum levels of convenience and safety in their purchase.