Touchscreen instead of switches, personalised user profiles and ambience in place of one size fits all. Digitalisation at Volkswagen is advancing in leaps and bounds. Worlds lie between the first digital driver information centre from 1986 and the current Active Info Display – yet there are also astonishing parallels.
At the beginning is the question: ‘Why does everything in the car always have to be mechanical? We could in fact also look for electronic solutions!’,” says Dr Walter Zimdahl, who was responsible for the field of electronics in the Department of Future Research at the time. One result was the ‘DigiFiz’ – the short form of the German for ‘Digital Driver Information Centre’. It was in 1986, when a digital speedometer with a liquid-crystal screen appeared in the Golf Mk2 and Jetta Mk2.