There are no knobs or dials. Yes that's right, the latest Golf concept from Volkswagen has done away with physical things to touch and turn and instead replaced them with touchscreens and gesture controls.

We caught up with the new car at CES in Las Vegas to see whether the future of interacting with your car is now completely hands-free.

For the most part the VW Golf is like any other Golf, which is promising because it means this concept isn't as far fetched as say the Mercedes driverless car also showcased at CES.

However rather than focus on driverless tech, VW has used the concept as a way to show how it believes the way we control our car from the inside will change over time.

Therefore, the main focus of the Golf R Touch are three interactive screens found surrounding the driver.


There is the 12.8-inch high-resolution infotainment system touchscreen in the centre; a Control Centre (8.0-inch with touch feedback) arranged beneath it to control vehicle, climate control and media functions; and an Active Information Display that measures 12.3-inches that replaces the traditional instrument dials.

The layouts of the central touchscreen and the Active Info Display can be customised just as they can on the Tesla Model S already in production and are easily controlled via touch and gesture.

"All it takes is a hand movement in the space in front of the Golf’s infotainment display to make human and machine interact as one," explains VW forgetting that trying to swat a fly or merely waving your arms around the cockpit could have huge implications in the future. "Volkswagen is thereby extending touchscreen operation into a third dimension."


Thankfully in most instances the driver can revert to the touchscreen interface and judging by what we saw that's probably a good thing.

Imagine right now if you had to move your hand to move down or back up the screen. Now baring in mind how much effort that takes to think about, imagine putting your hand in the right place in a car while your driving. It's an accident waiting to happen.

VW, perhaps realising this, have confirmed that this is really just a concept, but that it's a good test bed to see what people thing. In fact the screens and additional tech like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are likely to make it into production, and the touchscreen interfaces are really just a merging of tech we've already seen elsewhere in places like Tesla, Jaguar, Ford and others.

Whether as car drivers we can cope without knobs and dials is yet to be seen, but there are certainly elements from the Golf R Touch that we can't wait to use on the road.