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VW Type 20 concept takes what's old and makes it new again

Facial recognition and holograms in a microbus? Heck yeah.

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Andrew Krok
VW Type 20 Concept
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Volkswagen on Tuesday unveiled the Type 20 concept.

VW Type 20 Concept
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Starting with a 1962 Type 2 11-window microbus, the automaker ripped out its guts and replaced it with something just a little more up to date.     

VW Type 20 Concept
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It sports a 10-kilowatt-hour battery, a 2,500-watt onboard charger and an electric motor that makes 120 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque.     

VW Type 20 Concept
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It's some weird, wild stuff.

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Using a 720p wide-angle camera in the driver's second window, the concept uses facial recognition to allow the driver entry to the vehicle.    

VW Type 20 Concept
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If a command is given from the exterior, the vehicle "responds" with LED-light feedback through the headlights and the VW badge on the front end.    

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There are also microphones by the driver's seat and in the back row.

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There's also a holographic display in the dashboard that doesn't require special glasses, likely an extension of the GTI concept VW created for this year's Wörthersee show.

VW Type 20 Concept
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A clever pneumatic suspension, developed with Porsche, allows the Type 20 to change its ride height through software, rising as the driver approaches.   

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The VW Type 20 concept will live at the new Innovation and Engineering Center California in Silicon Valley to show visitors and employees alike what is possible using off-the-beaten-path ideas.     

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