A car that functions like your dog: when you call her it drives to you.
The world of commercial transport is going to change dramatically in the next few years if you believe Volkswagen. They just released information on its new EV initiative the eT!, an electric commercial vehicle. The eT! was designed in co-operation with Deutche Post, one the biggest customers for commercial vehicles and University of Art at Braunschweig and it maintains the iconic rounded shape that Volkswagen commercial vehicles are famous for.
It differs completely from previous VW commercial vehicles in concept, driving systems and operation modes. The eT! will be propelled by electric wheel hub motors. Its most interesting feature, however, is a control system that enables the car to be driven semi-automatically in certain situations. For example, it can follow a delivery person from house to house, when the "Follow me" function is applied, without a human intervention, and it can return to the delivery person on the command "Come to me", just like your dog.
The driver can also direct the car's movements via a 'drivestick' from the passenger's side that also offers a standing seat and quick access to the vehicle. On the passenger's side, the working area of the delivery person, there is an electronic opening sliding door that opens to 2 different stages; this enables extremely quick entry into the vehicle as well as quick access to the mail parcels. "Naturally, the eT! is not a vehicle which could become available very soon," said Dr. Rudolf Krebs, Group Manager for Electric Traction at Volkswagen.
He continued: "But we must make plans today for what the world of lightweight commercial vehicles might look like starting in the second half of this decade, including with regard to electrical drives." We are waiting.