Volkswagen will introduce a series of innovative software-driven technologies for its next-generation vehicles, including new chassis and steering systems.
The updates to the driving dynamics of many of Volkswagen’s models were revealed in an online webinar on Monday led by Karsten Schebsdat, the firm’s head of driving dynamics.
The new chassis technology, said to greatly improve ride quality and overall comfort, will be used in both electric and internal combustion models.
The firm presented an Arteon saloon equipped with the chassis tech, which is intended to reduce pitching and improve composure over bumpy roads. Volkswagen says the tech will aid the shift to autonomy, allowing passengers to comfortably enjoy activities such as reading a book.
In addition, Volkswagen claims the new chassis tech will reduce body roll and improve the responsiveness and precision of the car’s handling.
The brand is also developing a new, software-based steering system that can be tailored to specific models and customer preferences. The system removes the need for a steering column and there is no physical connection between the driver and the car’s wheels.
“The body’s pitching and rolling movements are significantly minimised and the driving dynamics optimised because the car reacts to steering movements more quickly and is more precise to drive,” said Schebsdat. “And this development is very important in terms of highly automated driving. This is how we ensure passengers are as comfortable as possible in all situations.”
Software is a big part of Volkswagen’s forward-looking Accelerate strategy and a key focus for the brand.
“Software will also be more important for steering in the future,” said Schebsdat. “It gives us many more opportunities to influence steering characteristics, which can be implemented on a model-specific basis for all platforms later on.”
Driver assistance systems such as lane assist and travel assist will also benefit from the new steering system, the firm says.
Volkswagen has not yet revealed when the new chassis and steering systems will be introduced to production models.