Tech

VW’s latest concept is a self-driving passenger car that could replace short-haul flights


Many car manufacturers dream of efficient self-driving cars lounge on wheels, but VW is taking it a step further. Brand has disclosure an EV “design study” by Gen.Travel that it hopes could replace short-haul flights. The four-person travel pod will be fully autonomous (i.e. SAE Level 5) and revolve around a modular interior that can be customized for each ride. Businessmen can work at the conference table while riding, while travelers with pink eye can use two chairs that convert into beds.

Gen.Travel can also be more comfortable than some of the nicer airline seats. Dynamic lighting not only helps maintain a natural sleep cycle, but also reduces motion sickness. A configuration with front seats can keep kids (and honestly, adults) entertained with augmented reality. While the bubble-like cabin is built to maximize your view of the outdoors, it promises both safety and isolation for sleeping passengers.

VW Gen.Travel furniture for business

Volkswagen

VW doesn’t outline performance. However, it says that the combination of AI and division (autonomous driving in convoys) can extend the range.

This is a research project that aims to test drone pods as “portable as a service” options. You will probably never sit in Gen.Travel. It’s a real prototype, though, and VW says the features could find their way into production cars. We wouldn’t expect them all to achieve the self-driving machines VW expects to build from 2025 onwardsBut don’t be surprised if future robotaxis sounds familiar.

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