Volkswagen showcases smart home connectivity with e-van

Volkswagen showcases smart home connectivity with e-van

By eeNews Europe

The BUDD-e – which could enter commercial production by the end of the decade – features a newly designed four-wheel electric drive with an EPA-estimated real-world driving range of more than 500 kilometres (233 miles). With 235 kW (317 hp), the vehicle is certainly not under-motorized though VW tries to position the BUDD-e as particularly affordable. “The new Volkswagen stands for affordable electromobility”, said Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand, during the presentation.

With all the batteries located in the vehicle floor, the concept permits entirely new forms of interior design, Diess highlighted. Being optimised for long-distance mobility, the BUDD-e’s batteries can be charged within just 30 minutes to 80 percent or their capacity.

The most innovative part of the microbus however is not so much the powertrain but the extend to which the BUDD-e is designed as a part of the Internet of Things. Towards this end, VW integrated the App Connect interface into the vehicle that brings Android and iOS apps to the dashboard, enabling drivers to access smart home functions while underway. The demo vehicle is equipped with apps that allow drivers and passengers to check the contents of their fridge or put the entire home into energy-save mode. A feature called Home-net Automation will in the future automatically turn on the lights in the home as soon as the vehicle enters the doorway. An app-based solution called Home-net Viewer, developed with supplier Doorbird, even transfers images from cameras installed in or around the home to a display inside the vehicle.

But users cannot only place orders from within the car. These goods – like purchases or expendable materials such as windscreen wiper blades – can also be delivered to the vehicle. To enable the delivery, the car has a drop box that is accessible from the outside. To grant access, the car-side NFC circuitry reads the access code and opens the box for delivery services. Thus, the system can provide the delivery person with a digital key.

And when the driver finally arrives at his home, the vehicle facilitates its life further: When it approaches the door with shopping bags on its arms and no hand free to unlock the door, the vehicle projects a “virtual footstep” in front to the door. As soon as the driver steps onto this mark, the car opens the door via remote control (provided the home is equipped accordingly).

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