Autonomous driving while lying down: VW presents the Gen.Travel concept

Autonomous cars could become an alternative to short-haul flights, says VW, and shows a car to match.

Lesezeit: 3 Min.
In Pocket speichern
vorlesen Druckansicht Kommentare lesen

(Bild: Volkswagen)

(Hier finden Sie die deutsche Version des Beitrags)

Volkswagen has presented a fully electric concept car in which the occupants could be transported autonomously over longer distances. As they would be travelling at the highest level of autonomy, Level 5, passengers could also travel lying down. Volkswagen has designed the furniture to be correspondingly flexible and is positioning the vehicle as an "alternative to short-haul flights".

The car, which Volkswagen has now presented in France at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance car design show, is a "real prototype", the company announced. It is intended to offer a "realistic outlook on mobility in the next decade".

VW concept Gen.Travel for autonomous vehicle (23 Bilder)

Volkswagen showed the Gen.Travel on 24 September 2022 at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance car design show north of Paris. (Bild: Volkswagen)

This does not mean, however, that the vehicle will be used on public roads as it is shown now. Rather, the Gen-Travel serves as a research vehicle to test the concept and new functions for their resonance with customers. Based on the results of such studies, individual features could later be transferred to series production vehicles.

The window edge is at beltline, so quite low, so that the occupants can see more of the outside. The gullwing doors are designed to allow better entry and exit. The eABC (Electric Active Body Control) chassis system calculates vertical and lateral movements such as acceleration, braking or curve inclination in advance and thus optimises driving style and trajectory, Volkswagen explains. Artificial intelligence and platooning - automated driving in convoys - would be used to further increase the range for long-distance journeys. Volkswagen did not provide details on battery capacity, speed and range.

With the Gen.Travel, the developers at Volkswagen specifically had offers based on the Mobility-as-a-Service principle in mind. This means that those willing to travel order a vehicle that then takes them from door to door. Depending on the configuration, up to four people can be transported. For business trips, there is a conference setup with four armchairs and a large table in the middle of the interior. Dynamic light sources are designed to provide a pleasant working environment and help prevent travel sickness.

In the "overnight setup", two seats can be fully folded out into beds. Here, too, the light system is supposed to come into play and help passengers release more melatonin to "fall asleep and wake up naturally". Volkswagen says it has developed a new occupant restraint system to prevent sleepers from tossing around in the event of an accident. For family travel, the car can be configured with front seats for children's entertainment with augmented reality.