Volkswagen has unveiled a design study Innovation Experience Vehicle for long-distance mobility called the Gen.Travel at the 2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance show in France. The all-electric vehicle is a real prototype and benefits from being able to drive autonomously at Level 5.
Built with a highly modular interior, VW hopes the concept could be used as a flexible and sustainable Mobility as a Service alternative to short-haul flights. Additionally, as a research vehicle, the Gen.Travel will be used for the testing of new functionalities for customer feedback. This feedback will then be used to decide if certain features should appear in the OEM’s series production vehicles.
Stepping inside the vehicle, the interior concept can be fully customized to cater for different journey types such as being booked for Mobility as a Service with room for up to four people. Additionally, for business, a conference setup can be selected which features four comfortable seats and a large table in the middle. For overnight travel, two seats can be converted into two lay flat beds and a passenger restraint system ensures maximum safety even when sleeping.
A lighting system within the Gen.Travel floods the cabin to lessen the chance of motion sickness occurring and the same system can also aid with melatonin production to help passengers fall asleep and wake up. During family trips the front seats can be configured with augmented reality solutions for in-car entertainment. All human-machine interface elements within the concept vehicle have been produced using sustainable, recycled or natural materials.
“With its New Auto strategy, Volkswagen defines the mobility for generations to come – sustainable and digital,” said Dr Nikolai Ardey, head of Volkswagen Group Innovation. “In the group-wide Volkswagen Innovation Research department, we are further advancing this idea, showing how our customers will be able to experience mobility in the future – for example, as a service. With Gen.Travel, we can already experience today what will be possible in the near future with innovative technology. Door-to-door travel at a new level. Emission-free and stress-free.”
“The Gen.Travel offers us a glimpse of the travel of the future,” said Klaus Zyciora, head of Volkswagen Group Design. “It shows us what autonomous driving will look like in the future. The Gen.Travel embodies the visionary design of beyond tomorrow for the mobility of tomorrow. Efficient shaping characterizes the extremely distinctive design. Thus, in an age of technical perfection and virtually unlimited possibilities, ‘form follows function’ becomes ‘form follows freedom’. The automobile will not only be better, but also more exciting than ever before.”