Volkswagen has unveiled what it says is its first autonomous concept car, describing it as a “comfortable lounge on wheels”.
The company claims to be the first automobile manufacturer to present an integrated mobility concept for mobility of the future in road traffic, including a concept car developed from scratch for autonomous driving.
Volkswagen says “Sedric”, the name of the new self-driving car, provides an insight into the future of individual mobility that can be used by everyone, but which can be geared to personal needs.
Volkswagen says Sedric highlights the major importance of fully automated driving in the future strategy of the company.
Sedric will form a “central component” of Volkswagen’s future, and its technology will feature in more of the company’s cars in the future.
Volkswagen says Sedric makes mobility easy in that it can take passengers to their destination “at the touch of a button”.
Passengers can talk to Sedric about the destination, how to get there, the driving time, the current traffic situation, perhaps even a short break on the way.
Volkswagen claims users can talk to Sedric like they would with a personal assistant, such as Siri, Cortana or the other voice assistants prevalent on mobile devices such as smartphones.
The company adds that a “new engineering structure” has made Sedric’s monolithic, basic body possible.
Sedric is also an electric automobile. Its battery pack is flat and has been configured between the axles, and the compact electric motor is located at the level of the wheels. Systems like air-conditioning or the electronic intelligence of the self-driving system are positioned in the compact overhangs at the front and rear.
A key differentiator between Sedric and other vehicles in the same market is the interior. “Sedric is a comfortable lounge on wheels, equipped with carefully selected materials,” says Volkswagen. “One example of this is the birch leather used to upholster large surfaces. It is a haptic, natural material pleasant to the touch.”
Volkswagen adds: “The two rear seats act as a very comfortable couch.”
Sedric features lots of “green technology” on board: air-purifying plants positioned in front of the rear windscreen enhance the effect of generously dimensioned bamboo charcoal air filters.
Moreover, Large window surfaces create contact with the outside world and even the large, high-resolution OLED screen is transparent and allows passengers to look out at the front.