The updated Volkswagen Golf, due in 2016, will add gesture controls to its "Star Trek"-style touch screens, AutoExpress reports.
VW presented the new in-car technology in the Golf R Touch concept last week at CES Asia in Shanghai. It previews the production version of interior tech that the face-lifted Golf will receive when it goes on sale in late 2016.
The driver and passengers will be able to use new gesture motions to change the climate control settings in the car, raise or lower the volume of the sound system and open and close the sunroof, in addition to other functions.
Finding and reaching buttons or accessing different menus on the infotainment screen will be simplified (so VW says) through gesture control, though touch-free scrolling already has been previewed in the form of the Discover Pro infotainment system's proximity sensor in the current-generation VW Golf.
Gesture control as a technology has been introduced in various devices over the past few years with video games pioneering its use. VW, along with other automakers, is eager to take advantage of its potential for reducing distracted driving.
"The interior features a preview of future VW interior technologies, with smartphone applications redefined for automotive use. The gesture control will become reality in the Golf at the end of next year," VW r&d boss Hans-Jakob Neusser told AutoExpress.
Functions that aren't manipulated via gesture control -- such as navigation, station selection and maintenance features -- will be accessible via a large touch screen with haptic feedback.
Just how large will the screen be? The Golf R Touch concept shown at CES Asia featured a 13-inch touch screen and a digital instrument panel that could be set to display various functions when needed. The aim is to create an interior that features as few buttons as possible.
VW promises that its cars will be the first to market with gesture control, though BMW has also previewed similar controls for the iDrive infotainment system on the next-generation 7 series.