Such a Tease

VW gives first peek at Project Trinity electric car with Level 4 automated driving ability

Project Trinity is a new sedan Volkswagen is set to bring to market in five years.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Talk about a long tease. Volkswagen has released an image of the vehicle dubbed Project Trinity, an all-electric sedan that's not expected to hit the market until 2026.

The project takes its name from three new design these: a newly developed electronics platform with state-of-the-art software, the simplification of the supply structure, and fully networked and intelligent production at the main plant in Wolfsburg.

"Trinity is a sort of crystallization point for our Accelerate strategy, a lighthouse project, our software dream car," says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

The car is designed to fast forward automobile intelligence. It will set new standards for range, charging speed, and digitalization, according to the automaker. In regards to charging speed, Volkswagen anticipates that vehicle charging will be coming as fast as a petrol refuel.

Additionally, Trinity will reach production with Level 2+ advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) technology. However, VW says that the car will be able to drive "highly automated according to Level 4" standards.

The gap between Level 2 and Level 4 ADAS standards is large. According to NVIDIA, Level 2+ adds surround perception and articial intelligence as a layer onto the typical Level 2 experience. This added technology allows the vehicle to perform some automated maneuvers, such as lane changes, while the driver is still in control of the vehicle. Driver monitoring is also a part of Level 2+ tech.

"We are using our economies of scale to make autonomous driving available to many people and to build a learning neural network. In this way, we are creating the conditions for the continuous exchange of data from our vehicle fleet—for example, on the traffic situation, on obstacles or on accidents," says Ralf Brandstätter. Trinity thus gives people time and saves them stress. After a long highway trip, you arrive at your destination relaxed. Because you have been driven by a chauffeur to your vacation or to your home after work. "Trinity therefore becomes a kind of 'time machine' for our customers," says Ralf Brandstätter.

Volkswagen intends to build future vehicles with fewer variants, standardizing hardware in the process. In a release, the company said, "The cars will then have virtually everything on board and customers will be able to activate desired functions "on demand" at any time via the digital ecosystem in the car. This will significantly reduce complexity in production."

"In the future, the individual configuration of the vehicle will no longer be determined by the hardware at the time of purchase. Instead, customers will be able to add functions on demand at any time via the digital ecosystem in the car," said Brandstätter.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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