The Volkswagen Innovation Research design study features a modular interior concept, 100% electric drive and Level 5 autonomous driving and is proposed as a sustainable Mobility-as-a-Service solution.
The mobility of the next decade could be very different from how we know it today. With electric drive, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence, short-haul flights could have an alternative that travels on wheels, with great flexibility and zero emissions. The Innovation Experience Vehicle that Volkswagen Group presented at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance event explores just such a possibility.
The research vehicle, called GEN.TRAVEL, has a modular interior and is designed to be a versatile and sustainable Mobility-as-a-Service solution. It will be the focus of a study to test the concept and innovative functionalities, evaluating user response. Then, based on the results gathered, individual features may later be transferred to series vehicles.
GEN.TRAVEL positions itself as a premium vehicle, creating an entirely new vehicle category, somewhere between sedans and MPVs (Multi Purpose Vehicles). "The Volkswagen Group's NEW AUTO strategy defines sustainable and digital mobility for generations to come. In Volkswagen Innovation Research, a department operating group-wide, we are further advancing this idea by showing how the mobility of the future can also be a service. With GEN.TRAVEL we can already experience today what will be possible in the near future: door-to-door travel at a new level, with zero emissions and no stress", says Nikolai Ardey, Head of Volkswagen Group Innovation.
Level 5 autonomous driving
The GEN.TRAVEL takes advantage of Level 5 autonomous driving: so the driver becomes a passenger who can use time in other ways, whether they involve work, relaxation, entertainment or family. "GEN.TRAVEL's visionary design is defined by its efficient shapes. In an age of technical perfection and virtually unlimited possibilities, the concept 'form follows function' becomes 'form follows freedom.' Future travel will be characterized by autonomous driving, and GEN.TRAVEL shows this vision of the mobility of tomorrow; the automobile will not only be better but also more exciting", adds Klaus Zyciora, Head of Volkswagen Group Design.
One of the unique features of GEN.TRAVEL is the interior, which are modular and can be customized from time to time according to the type of journey that is about to be undertaken by booking them in advance within the Mobility-as-a-Service offering.
Different configurations are available in the interior. If it's a business trip, for example, the four seats can be arranged around a table, while if it's an overnight trip two separate seats unfold out into a lie-flat position; in the latter case, occupant safety is ensured by an innovative restraint system. Dynamic lighting also has its importance: it can create a pleasant working environment and prevent motion sickness, but also promote rest by influencing melatonin production to help passengers fall asleep and wake up naturally.
Augmented reality and design
GEN.TRAVEL can also be configured for family trips, with front seats that can be configured to entertain the children using augmented reality through the windshield. The interior is bright and has a natural design, while the human-machine interface elements are made from sustainable materials combined with recycled or natural materials.
The body design, on the other hand, is ideally divided into two parts with the transparent glass cabin perfectly incorporated into the lower section, where the technical components are located. The beltline (i.e., window edge) is placed very low to increase visibility, and wing doors facilitate better entry and exit.
High-level comfort is provided by the eABC - electric Active Body Control - active suspension, which calculates in advance vertical and lateral movements such as acceleration, braking or cornering ahead of time, optimizing driving style and trajectory accordingly. Finally, in long-distance travel, artificial intelligence and platooning - fully autonomous driving in convoys - further increase range.
Source: Volkswagen Newsroom
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