Volkswagen is giving us a glimpse at Project Trinity, a level-4 automated sedan set to be built in 2026. The Volkswagen Project Trinity initiative sets high standards for digitization, range, and charging abilities.

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Volkswagen Project Trinity: what we know so far

The Trinity project makes autonomous driving accessible to the masses. Consequently, VW’s sedan will meet the highest standards for safety and efficiency. All while being affordable.

VW chose the name “Trinity” since there are three core themes of the project. The first is a new electronics platform, which uses cutting-edge software for safe and efficient driving. As part of this, the sedan will have an impressive range and charging speed. Charging could take the same amount of time as filling a car with gas.

Next, there’s supply structure simplification. Basically, VW will quickly produce these cars on a large scale. To achieve this, they’ll simplify the sourcing and assembly process as much as possible.

Finally, there’s intelligent production. VW will modify its Wolfsburg plant for smart manufacturing processes. This will involve cutting down on waste as much as possible.

The vehicle will be highly automated. For context, there are five levels of car automation:

  • Zero: No automation at all. A basic, no-frills vehicle.
  • One: Basic automation, such as cruise control.
  • Two: Partial automation. These cars can control their own steering, speeding up, and slowing down. The Volkswagen Project Trinity sedan will be at level 2 at a minimum.
  • Three: Conditional automation. Now, we’re getting into the high-tech realm. These cars can “make decisions”. Like choosing to accelerate past a slow-moving vehicle.
  • Four: High automation. A level four car could avoid accidents and obstacles. Consequently, they wouldn’t need human help. But a driver could intervene if they wanted to. This is the aim of the Volkswagen Project Trinity initiative.
  • Five: Full automation. A car like this wouldn’t even need a steering wheel or pedals. Basically, humans would just be along for the ride.

If the Volkswagen Project Trinity sedan can reach level 4, it’ll be a big deal. VW CEO Ralf Brandstatter says using the sedan will feel like being chauffeured to your destination.

Volkswagen Project Trinity - Ontario Volkswagen plate

Near fully autonomous VW coming in 2026

What production will look like for the Trinity Sedan

The production process will be highly automated and complex. Therefore, there won’t be many variants of the car. The hardware will be the same from one variant to the next. However, drivers can still create a custom experience by changing settings and functions in the car. Since VW will stick with a standard body, they’ll save time and costs on manufacturing.

Next, VW will likely roll out a suite of services for the electric vehicle. Some examples include charging services or special add-on driving functions. Drivers will have on-demand access to these perks.

Finally, the manufacturer will transform its Wolfsburg plant to accommodate the Volkswagen Project Trinity initiative. It will set the standard for intelligent manufacturing and production processes.

2026 is still a ways off. But with the time and resources that VW has invested lately into automated systems, we expect that Volkswagen Project Trinity will be a huge leap forward.

 

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