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Volkswagen's e-Golf Touch takes care of passenger and driver needs alike

The Consumer Electronics Show continues to grow in importance for automakers, and not just those focused on seemingly mystical technology.

Volkswagen has used the 2016 CES platform to reveal an evolution of its gesture control functionality which was first shown at last year’s CES in the form of its Golf R Touch concept. This time around, however, the German automaker is showing a near production-ready 9.2-inch infotainment system, a first for compact cars.

VW says this technology, which is showcased via an “e-Golf Touch” concept, will be incorporated in future mass-market models. The configurable modular infotainment system (MIB) has a high-resolution screen and 10 different functions like Music or Phone.

It’s not often that non-luxury automakers cater to the needs of rear-seat passengers, but Volkswagen introduced a series of features that make road trips better for those in the back.

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The first is an “electronic voice amplification” function to allow for better communication with back-seat passengers. This sounds highly practical when you consider all the times you’ve had to strain to hear the front-seat occupants’ conversation. It could also mean Volkswagen is admitting to road and wind noise in its vehicle cabins, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. The second addition is wireless charging for smartphones in the back seat via the rear armrests. Finally, the e-Golf Touch is equipped with a USB Type-C port for high-speed USB data transfer while charging the phone much faster than standard speeds.

Rounding out the tech. announcements is VW’s “Personalization 2.0,” allowing drivers to configure setting to be saved to a user account in the cloud via Volkswagen Car-Net ID. Then, when a driver hops into another VW model, they can download their settings and use them like in their own car.