Volkswagen Upgrades Tech, Safety Features for 2021

As automakers continue to beef up their cars’ safety and tech features, Volkswagen is debuting an upgraded multimedia system, MIB3, and adding some additional driver assistance systems to certain model-year 2021 vehicles. 

Related: Volkswagen Atlas: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?

The MIB3 multimedia system has several new features, such as a redesigned navigation interface, enhanced voice recognition and wireless app-connect with multiphone pairing that can switch between devices. Volkswagen says the system has simplified and enhanced map designs, offers more intuitive route options with advanced route management, and delivers quicker access to frequently visited locations. In addition, the system’s illuminated USB-C input connector is now standard.

MIB3 Availability

MIB3 will be available on several VW vehicles, including model-year 2021.5 versions of the Atlas SUV (SE models and up), 2021 Atlas Cross Sport SUV (SE models and up), 2021 Jetta sedan (SEL and SEL Premium, plus the Jetta GLI in Autobahn trim) and 2021 Tiguan SUV (SE and up).

In driver assistance, two new features are available for several model-year 2021 vehicles: Travel Assist and Emergency Assist.

Travel Assist

Travel Assist enables partially automated driving via a button on the steering wheel. It uses the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist systems to steer, accelerate and brake at speeds from 0-95 mph. Volkswagen cautions that it is not a self-driving system and that it’s the driver’s responsibility to continuously monitor the road, remaining alert and in control all times. To wit, Travel Assist monitors the steering wheel to make sure the driver has their hands on it.

The system will be available on model-year 2021 versions of the Atlas Cross Sport (SEL models and higher) and model-year 2021.5 versions of the Atlas (SEL and SEL Premium trims). The Tiguan doesn’t get the system, but SE trims and above get standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go for 2021.

Emergency Assist

The second system, Emergency Assist, can automatically stop the vehicle if it detects driver incapacitation. It monitors the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and issues a series of visual and audio alerts (as well as brake pulses) if it doesn’t detect driver input on the steering wheel. Eventually, it will gradually bring the car to a stop in its lane. 

The system will be available on model-year 2021 versions of the Atlas Cross Sport (SEL models and higher) and 2021.5 versions of the Atlas (SEL and SEL Premium trims).

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