What might private car ownership look like in a world where driving is no longer necessary? Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest automaker by volume, is exploring just that with its Gen.Travel concept unveiled Friday.

Gen.Travel is a Level 5 self-driving electric vehicle SAE scale of self-driving ability. Level 5 is the ultimate goal for companies developing self-driving technology, as it means a vehicle that can handle the same situations as a human.

This feature allowed Gen.Travel designers to ditch the steering wheel and pedals. And the seat is modular, so it can accommodate different functions. For example, you can set up a table and place chairs opposite each other to create a living room or office on wheels. It is also possible to install seats that recline completely to create a bedroom on wheels. Voice activation and artificial intelligence can be used to control various functions.

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Although the Gen.Travel is not intended for production, the VW Group said it provides a realistic vision of mobility in the next decade. The concept also serves as a means to gather feedback on whether members of the public want a vehicle that no longer requires driving, and some of that feedback could eventually shape features that appear in production models, the automaker said.

VW Group, which presented a similar concept in 2017 called Cedric, is developing a self-driving system for private cars through its software development division Cariad. The automaker is also working with the American self-driving technology company Argo AI to develop a robotaxi service which is planned to offer its first trips in 2025. The service will use Volkswagen ID.Buzz for robotaxis, will initially be launched in some cities in Germany, but the VW Group plans expand it to the US. The service will be a Level 4 on the SAE scale, as the robo-taxis will be restricted in the areas they can operate in, similar to the services currently used by Waymo and Cruise.

VW Group will present Gen.Travel to the public for the first time at this weekend’s Chantilly Arts & Elegance show in Ch√Ęteau de Chantilly, north of Paris. Renault will also use the event to reveal the concept.

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1137257_vw-group-gen-travel-level-5-self-driving-car-concept-revealed

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