The Volkswagen Group surprised us with a new design study with Level 5 autonomous driving capability, a modular cabin and a futuristic exterior. The Gen.Travel may not be intended for production, but some of its features could find their way into future models of the VW range depending on customer response.
Interestingly, the concept is not Volkswagen, as it wears the Volkswagen Group badge on both ends. It has unconventional proportions with a vertical windshield that blends in with the large greenhouse that is visually separated from the rest of the bodywork. According to its designers, the Gen.Travel concept blurs the lines between MPV models and sedan bodies, aiming to reach the luxury class.
Read also: VW Group will discontinue 60% of its ICE-powered models in Europe by 2030
The transparent part of the cabin reaches waist level, which increases the visibility of the outside. The model also has two large gull-wing doors for easier entry/exit, slim LED lights, a short hood, fenders painted black, aero-style wheels, and a gorgeous rear spoiler where there’s no rear window.
Even more interesting is the interior design of the modular concept, taking advantage of its full independent capacity (level 5). The concept was envisioned as a showcase of mobility as a service, with long journeys in mind and the use of sustainable materials for upholstery.
In the “conference setting” there are four individual seats and a large table in between, with dynamic lighting ideal for the working environment during business trips. Then there’s the “night setting” that turns the two front seats into beds with an innovative passenger restraint system that ensures “maximum safety even in a lying position.” The lighting is adjusted accordingly, which affects the production of melatonin to help passengers fall asleep and wake up in a natural way. Finally, Family Setting brings augmented reality into the game, keeping kids occupied and entertained during family trips.
VW Group hasn’t announced detailed specifications for the bases, but it’s clear that the concept is all-electric. It also includes a special active suspension system, called eABC (Electric Active Body Control), for the ultimate in comfort. Finally, it uses AI and platoons – a term used for self-driving in convoys – to increase efficiency and range.
According to Klaus Zisiora, Head of Design at Volkswagen Group, Gen.Travel offers “a glimpse into the travel of the future,” showing us “what self-driving would look like.” Besides the digital world, Gen.Travel also exists in real life as a large scale model. The concept will be shown on September 24 at Chantilly Arts & Elegance near Paris, France.