More comfortable, more digital, and with even more enhanced integration: the highly advanced eighth generation of the Passat celebrates its debut in Geneva. Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer for the Volkswagen brand: “This spring, the 30 millionth Passat will roll off the production line. This makes it the most successful mid-range model in the world. The technical update will consolidate its position as one of the best vehicles for business.” Travel Assist will be available for the first time in the new Passat. According to Mr Brandstätter: “The Passat has always been a reflection of technical progress. And this is no exception. With the world première of the new Travel Assist, our best-selling car is the first Volkswagen which enables partially automated motion across nearly the entire speed range – a true milestone on the path to autonomous driving.”
Travel Assist is activated from the multifunction steering wheel at the touch of a button. The driver must constantly monitor the system for legal and safety-related reasons. To ensure this, Travel Assist (which is active between 0 and 210 km/h) checks whether the driver has hands on the steering wheel. This is more convenient in the new Passat than ever before, as a direct result of the first capacitive steering wheel from Volkswagen. This detects touch by the driver, providing an interactive interface to systems such as Travel Assist. A single touch of the wheel is all it takes. The capacitive surface then detects that the driver is still in control of the car (previously, the driver had to move the steering wheel slightly). Warning signals (visual, acoustic, and brake movement) will alert the driver if they take their hands off the wheel for longer than ten seconds. If the driver does not react, Emergency Assist will automatically brake the Passat, bringing it to a stop.
A whole range of assist systems are available for the new Passat. Emergency Steering Assist, which increases safety in evasive manoeuvres by means of braking intervention, also celebrates its debut in the Passat. The latest generation of adaptive cruise control, ACC, incorporates predictive cruise control. Previously used purely for distance control, ACC now reacts to speed limits, localities, bends, roundabouts, and junctions by appropriately adjusting the car’s speed. If the Passat is fitted with DSG, ACC becomes a traffic jam and stop-and-go assistant, as the vehicle then moves off again automatically.
A new multifunction camera perfects the Lane Assist guidance feature (now detects grass areas in addition to lane boundaries). These include the lane change system Side Assist plus Rear Traffic Alert, the emergency braking system Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, the trailer manoeuvring system Trailer Assist, and the Park Assist parking system. Volkswagen has considerably enhanced the electromechanical brake servo (eBKV). The system is now standard on board the entire model series, enabling the brakes to respond even more quickly, and resulting in impressive enhancements to assisted driving. Adaptive Cruise Control reacts more comfortably, as braking interventions can be controlled more precisely. In conjunction with Front Assist together with Pedestrian Monitoring, the braking distance can be shortened considerably within system limits. These technologies are now grouped under IQ.DRIVE, the new umbrella brand for Volkswagen driver assist systems that pave the way toward assisted driving. Along with its assist systems, the Passat represents the most advanced version of IQ.DRIVE yet seen.