Here's why we may not get this awesome piece of technology.
There is an old saying in the automative industry: "If you want to know what your car will be like in 10 years, look at today's Mercedes S-Class." Many features that were once seen as highly advanced on a six-figure S-Class, such as adaptive cruise control and night vision, can now be found on far less expensive cars. In fact, Volkswagen has just introduced a new thermal imaging camera which can detect people and animals up to 426 feet ahead of the vehicle. The system combines with the digital cockpit to show the view ahead in the gauge cluster.
The technology uses an infrared camera in the front bumper, which can detect the heat given off by humans and other living organisms. This type of detection spans further than a typical headlight beam, which means drivers will be alert to dangers sooner. On the screen, animals and people are outlined in yellow so they stand out in the black and white background. If something strays within the projected path of the car, the system will change the color from yellow to red to alert the driver. The camera can even be tied in with the available head-up display and emergency braking system to warn the driver with a flash of red light along with a warning chime and even bring the car to a full stop.
Volkswagen plans to debut this technology on the recently revealed 2019 Touareg SUV. Unfortunately, the Touareg is not slated to come to the U.S. market, so it may be a while before the tech is available here. Let's hope VW decides to bring this technology on the Atlas or upcoming Passat replacement.