Volkswagen of America has unveiled an electric van to celebrate the renaming of their Electronics Research Laboratory to the Innovation and Engineering Center California.
Looking decidedly cool, the van has a two-tone paint job with a contrasting orange band at the bottom. Designers also created custom wheels and mirror supports which feature an organic-inspired design that makes them strong and lightweight.
Inside, drivers will find a front bench seat and a custom steering wheel. The concept also has a stylish sectional and funky carpeting with a geometric pattern.
Elsewhere, the Type 20 has been equipped with a Looking Glass II holographic display. Volkswagen says it produces 3D images without the need for special glasses.
The van also has directional microphones and speech recognition technology. One of the microphones is mounted outside and it enables people to ‘speak’ to the vehicle. When this occurs, the car will provide feedback via flashes of the LED headlights and Volkswagen logo.
Motivation is provided by a 10 kWh battery which powers an electric motor that develops 120 hp (89 kW / 122 PS) and 173 lb-ft (235 Nm) of torque.
Interestingly, the van rides on a custom active pneumatic suspension which was developed in partnership with Porsche. Volkswagen didn’t say much about, but the company revealed the Type 20 concept will rise as drivers approach.
The latter capability seems to be tied into the van’s real-time facial recognition system. It uses a 720p wide-angle camera to identify people using a Sensory SDK and a Nvidia Jetson TX2 prototyping package.
While the Type 20 is just a concept, Volkswagen will offer a production version of the ID BUZZ concept. It will arrive in 2022 and be an electric van which “taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle.”