Volkswagen has created a new climate control system that starts itself before you enter the car, runs off voice commands, and monitors the position of the sun to hone in on certain areas of the cabin.
The system will debut in the incoming Volkswagen ID.7 electric sedan, which was previewed at CES earlier this month and is set to launch in China and Europe this year, and the US in 2024.
The ID.7 can activate the A/C before passengers get into the vehicle, by sensing the key in your pocket. Then when the door is opened the car’s vents start intensely fanning either cold or hot air throughout the interior to counter the outside ambient temperature, which the car tracks.
This is an evolution of systems that work from smartphone apps to cool or warm the cabin remotely.
The climate control function is located in a toolbar on the 15-inch infotainment display, so it’s always visible, and the temperature-changing red and blue sliders are now backlit – addressing a major criticism of the new Golf.
Volkswagen’s digitally controlled air conditioning can also be activated by voice control, so a phrase such as “Hello Volkswagen, my hands are cold” prompts a blast of warm air at your hands for five minutes.
The climate control’s Auto mode – where the system retains a set temperature – is designed to be more accurate than other systems by using an external sensor to track the angle of sunlight, thereby identifying interior hot spots and sending more cool air to those pockets.