Volkswagen has unveiled Sedric, a driverless car designed to be as comfortable as sitting on your sofa as it drives you to work.
The AI-powered vehicle is controlled by voice and offers level five of autonomy, meaning there’s no steering wheel or any other controls for human takeover.
The concept vehicle was on show at the Geneva Motor Show, so it isn’t Volkswagen-branded and the company hopes it’ll be used by its whole group, including its Audi, Bentley, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda and possibly even premium Bugatti and Lamborghini brands.
Sedric’s capabilities go beyond just shipping people to and from their workplaces and kids to school in comfort. It can also find a parking space after carting passengers around, collect pre-ordered shopping or know which train you’re on to pick you up from the station, for example.
Sedric is called using “The Button”. When it’s pressed, the self-driving car will come and meet you and when it arrives, it’ll identify you as the owner or the person that hailed it. Once inside, you can tell the car where you want to go using your voice and it’ll give you an overview of the traffic conditions to get to that destination, an idea of how long it’ll take and relay any other information relating to the journey.
“We are systematically focusing on our customers, their wishes and requirements for the mobility of the future,” says chief designer Michael Mauer. “The Volkswagen Group Future Centers give us the opportunity to conceptualize and develop new ideas of mobile life.”
Sedric is powered by battery, which sits below the car, between the front and rear axels. It’s driven by a single drive motor and aspects such as heating and air conditioning, ventilation and other aspects are controlled by sensors.