Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveals big tech updates for Crafter

Extensive technical update for the trusty Crafter range comprise a new cockpit landscape and new assist systems. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles says the new infotainment system with a free-standing display will offer occupants intuitive operation, state-of-the-art apps and a high degree of individualisation.

Nov 9, 2023

The Crafter is one of the most modern commercial vehicles in its segment. More than 354,000 units of the current generation were sold up to the end of last year alone. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles says that the Crafter impresses – whether as a panel van, drop-side, chassis, Grand California camper van or as a platform for second stage manufacturers.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has presented the first facts about a far-reaching technical update for the Crafter, with the popular model's software and hardware are being upgraded to a new level. The cockpit landscape in particular has been completely redesigned. The Crafter is equipped with the latest generation of infotainment systems along with Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit, multifunction steering wheel, an electronic parking brake and numerous assist systems. The updated Crafter will be making its way to New Zealand in April 2024.

The defining interior detail of the 2024 Crafter will be its new infotainment display based on the latest modular infotainment matrix (MIB), which has been arranged to be visually free-standing. The Volkswagen system features a newly developed graphic interface and self-explanatory menu navigation, as was rolled out in Europe earlier in 2023 with the new long-wheelbase ID. Buzz.

The display has been divided into two permanently visible touch bars and the home screen. On the left of the top bar on the display, there is a new direct access button, which enables the driver to open the main menu with an overview of all apps with just one click. Next to this is a button for the new Car Control Centre, which offers direct access to the most important vehicle functions.

The new home screen in the middle combines the content of the most important apps on differently sized tiles; the apps can be individually configured. The bottom touch bar contains the air conditioning and seat heating functions and has a home button that allows the driver to return to the central home screen at any time. The temperatures and audio volume can now be adjusted by means of illuminated touch sliders. The Crafter will also receive a new online voice control system that responds to natural voice commands.

The 2024 Volkswagen Crafter will be available with digital instruments for the first time, and the Digital Cockpit is standard equipment. Using a separate View button in the new multifunction steering wheel, the driver can select different views and thus also individually adapt this display. In addition to central displays such as speed or range, many other menus and information displays are available in each view – from navigation and telephone through to the media library. They are also controlled using the buttons on the new multifunction steering wheel.

Whereas the Crafter previously had a traditional handbrake lever next to the driver’s seat, the new generation will be equipped with an electronically operated parking brake whose switch is located between the instruments and the infotainment system. This frees up the space next to the driver’s seat and improves access to the rear, making it easier – especially in camper vans – to operate a driver’s seat that can be rotated by 180 degrees.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced it will greatly expand the array of assist systems. New and standard on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 tonnes, a blind spot information system that alerts the driver to pedestrians and cyclists or scooter riders who are in the blind spot to the side of the Crafter when driving in urban traffic (0–30 km/h).

Also new and standard for the models over 3.5 tonnes is a moving-off information system, which informs the driver when moving off whether there are any pedestrians in front of the Crafter, and an oncoming vehicle braking when turning function which brakes in the event of oncoming traffic. These systems can be ordered as an option for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes.

Also to be standard for the future, other assist systems featured in the 2024 Crafter include Front Assist (Autonomous Emergency Braking including cyclist and pedestrian detection), Lane Assist (lane keeping system), Dynamic Road Sign Display, a speed limiter and acoustic Park Distance Control for the rear area.

Travel Assist will also be available as an option for the Crafter for the first time. Here, Adaptive Cruise Control ACC (automatic acceleration and braking) and Lane Assist are merged into one system that increases convenience and safety, especially on long journeys, thanks to assisted longitudinal and lateral guidance. In combination with Travel Assist, Emergency Assist (automatic braking and manoeuvring to the edge of the road until standstill) is now also introduced in the Crafter.

The range of new standard and optional assist systems raises the product line to a new level, making everyday work easier for Crafter drivers.