Volkswagen Gen.Travel concept debuts as a comfy autonomous cruiser


Volkswagen showcased the Gen.Travel concept at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance event near Paris. As you can probably tell, the concept imagines a fully autonomous (Level 5) shared mobility service in the future. According to VW, the Gen.Travel concept is especially designed as an alternative to short-haul flights.

Just when you think that the styling is simple and boxy-taxi-ish, it has got gullwing doors à la SLS AMG. I guess the boxy DLO is mostly to do with maximizing the space on the inside, but I’m not entirely sure how aerodynamic that upright windscreen is. But anyway, one of the key features of this concept is a modular interior that can be customized for each journey, and depending on the configuration, up to four people can be transported in the vehicle.

If you’re on a business trip, a conference setup with four comfortable seats and a large table in the middle can be done, or, if you just want to take a break from digital life, an overnight setup with flat-folding seats is also possible. In the conference setup, dynamic lighting is claimed to create a pleasant working environment in order to avoid kinetosis (motion sickness). But what is unclear is if someone has to manually do these different setups as per the bookings. Because, as you can see, the seats for conference and sleeping are different, plus, that table in the middle doesn’t appear magically out of nowhere. I’m guessing the idea is that there’ll be different cars with different pre-set configurations, and you’ll get the option you choose.

Physical controls have been kept to bare essentials, and there’ll be more augmented reality (AR) controls, because, you know, it’s the future. And of course, there’ll be recycled and sustainably-produced materials on the inside. The Gen.Travel concept also boasts an 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. Plus, Artificial intelligence (AI) and platooning are used to further increase the range for long-distance journeys.

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