Volkswagen (ETR:VOW3) unveiled the concept of a futuristic driverless car, the Sedric, at the Geneva Motor Show on Monday. The German automaker gave a sneak preview of the automobile, saying this is going to the future of self-driving cars.
The pod looks something between a toaster and an Apple iMac on wheels. There are no pedals, steering wheels or bonnet. It’s an electric vehicle that will be driven by advanced artificial intelligence. The vehicle can be summoned and controlled at the touch of a button or a phone app.
It will recognize users and open the doors automatically. Inside the car, passengers can talk to an inbuilt virtual assistant, and instruct the vehicle where to go. Sedric will then chart the course itself looking at alternative routes and traffic conditions. Passengers can also tell the virtual assistant to play music or movies. There is a large screen inside with augmented reality. There are air-purifying plants, and birch leather upholstery. Volkswagen says the interior is a “comfortable lounge on wheels”.
Sedric for the Entire Family
Volkswagen said in a statement, “Sedric will drive the children to school and then take their parents to the office, look independently for a parking space, collect shopping that has been ordered, pick up a visitor from the station and a son from sports training – all at the touch of a button, with voice control or with a smartphone app – fully automatically, reliably and safely”.
VW says this is a Level 5 vehicle with fully automated operation. Matthias Mueller, the Chief Executive added saying that Sedric is just a precursor of things to come from them in the next few years. Mueller said they are looking to launch more than 30 battery powered automobiles within 2025, probably earlier. To achieve this, the company is looking for and hiring the best specialists.
Volkswagen Focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Driving
Volkswagen (ETR:VOW3) is investing billions of euros on automated driving and ride-hailing. “Artificial intelligence and autonomous driving are going to be the core competencies of the business in the coming years”, the CEO added.
Google has taken a lead in self-driving technology since the launch of their prototype vehicle in 2015. However, since then, others like Apple and Uber have challenged them. Mercedes-Benz has also unveiled their fully autonomous F 015 luxury concept. Other carmakers are gearing up too.
Toyota, however, feels that it will take 10 more years before we have Level 5 cars.