In the future (probably quite distant), people will travel in vehicles which can operate completely without human control or management. This will be when Level 5 autonomy is possible, at which time the question will be whether we can regard the vehicle as the ‘car’ we drive today.
At Chantilly Arts & Elegance event being held in France this weekend, the Volkswagen Group will present an innovative design study that will show what a Level 5 autonomous vehicle might be like, with a realistic outlook for the mobility of the coming decade.
For obtaining customer response
The prototype, known as the GEN.TRAVEL, is an Innovation Experience Vehicle (IEV) to test the concept and new functionalities for customer response. Based on the study results, individual features may later be transferred to production vehicles.
With GEN.TRAVEL, the Volkswagen Group is proposing a completely new vehicle category in the premium portfolio between sedan and MPV. It redefines long-distance mobility of the future and can be a flexible, sustainable Mobility-as-a-Service alternative to short-haul flights.
Unique modular interior concept
The electrically-powered GEN.TRAVEL has a unique modular interior concept that can be customized for each journey. Depending on the configuration, up to 4 people can be transported in comfort.
For business trips, there is the conference set-up with four comfortable seats facing each other and a large table in the middle. Dynamic lighting creates a pleasant working environment and avoids the danger of kinetosis (motion sickness). For family trips, the GEN.TRAVEL with front seats can be configured to entertain the children using augmented reality.
Another configuration is the overnight-setup which allows the conversion of 2 seats into 2 beds that can be folded out to a full-flat position. An innovative passenger restraint system ensures maximum safety, even in a lying position. The lighting system influences melatonin production to help passengers fall asleep and wake up naturally.
The interior is light, with a natural design. All HMI (human-machine interface) elements are produced using sustainable materials, combined with recycled or natural materials.
For maximum comfort, the GEN.TRAVEL has eABC (electric Active Body Control), an active suspension system that calculates vertical and lateral movements such as acceleration, braking, or cornering ahead of time, and optimizes the driving style and trajectory accordingly.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and platooning – fully autonomous driving in convoys – can be used to further increase the range for long-distance journeys.
The futuristic exterior of the GEN.TRAVEL is divided into two parts. The transparent, glass cabin is incorporated into the lower section which houses all the technical features. The edge of the window is at waist level, making it very low so as to maximize the view of the outside.
The wing doors of the GEN.TRAVEL facilitate better entry and exit. At the same time, when passengers are lying down flat in the car, they do not experience any external influences.
“The GEN.TRAVEL offers us a glimpse of the travel of the future. It shows us what autonomous driving will look like in the future. The GEN.TRAVEL embodies the visionary design of beyond tomorrow for the mobility of tomorrow. Efficient shaping characterizes the extremely distinctive design. Thus, in an age of technical perfection and virtually unlimited possibilities, ‘form follows function’ becomes ‘form follows freedom’. The automobile will not only be better, but also more exciting than ever before!” said Klaus Zyciora, Head of Volkswagen Group Design.