By Brian Denton, September 23, 2022
The Volkswagen Gen.Travel is an all-electric powered concept prototype that can theoretically drive autonomously (Level 5). The car’s modular interior concept makes it a flexible, sustainable Mobility- as-a-Service alternative to short-haul flights. As a research vehicle, the purpose of the Gen.Travel concept is to test new functionalities. Based on the series of research studies, individual features may later be transferred to future series vehicles.
Gen.Travel is designed for door-to-door travel emission-free and stress-free. The conceptual prototype drives autonomously and turns the driver into a relaxed passenger who has time for other things: Work. Relaxation. Entertainment. Family. For Volkswagen, it is a glimpse of the travel of the future.
It shows what autonomous driving will look like in the future. Efficient shaping characterizes the extremely distinctive design. The unique, modular interior concept can be customized for each journey and booked as a Mobility-as-a-Service offering. Depending on the configuration, up to four people can be transported in the concept vehicle.
For business trips, the conference setup with four comfortable seats and a large table in the middle of the interior provides relaxed surroundings. Dynamic lighting creates a pleasant working environment and avoids the danger of kinetosis (motion sickness). A configuration in the overnight setup allows the conversion of two seats into two beds that can be folded out to a fully- flat position.
For family trips, Gen.Travel has front seats that can be configured to entertain children using augmented reality (AR). 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.
The 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. At the same time, when passengers are lying down flat in the car, they do not experience any external influences.
For maximum comfort, Gen.Travel has the active suspension eABC (electric Active Body Control) 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 – are used to further increase the range for long-distance journeys.