Move over K9, eT! is here

VW eT!

Volkswagen’s eT! is a base for future designs.

DR Who’s former sidekick K9 has been done out of the role of faithful follower by Volkswagen.
The German motor manufacturer has unveiled its eT! electric concept vehicle which, the company claims, pushes technology as far as it can go at this moment in time.
The concept was engineered as a platform to see how new technologies can be utilised in the vehicles of tomorrow and in particular commercial vehicles.
Because it’s electric there are no emissions which makes it ideal for town and city deliveries but it’s the futuristic elements which make it stand out.
One of the design partners was the German Post Office, so to make the job of its drivers and delivery staff easier, the eT! can be operated semi-automatically. It can even follow the delivery person from house to house (“follow me”) or can be “whistled to heel” and return to them on demand (“come to me”) all with no driver!
As an alternative, the driver can direct the car’s movements via a ‘drive stick’ from the passenger’s side that also offers a standing seat and quick access to the vehicle.
On the passenger side — the one nearest the pavement when making deliveries and therefore the working area of the delivery person — there is an electrically opening sliding door that opens to two different stages; this enables extremely quick entry into the vehicle as well as quick access to the parcels or goods. This makes unnecessary walking movements around the vehicle a thing of the past.
Differing models of this lightweight transport vehicle could be implemented for many business uses. And these derived concepts are also the focus of research activities.
Meanwhile, the eT! concept shown in a world premiere at the Design Centre of Potsdam was specially designed for delivery of mail shipments of all types. The research vehicle will now be integrated in a driving test study and further analysed.