Volkswagen says that Sedric is the first auto that's designed for a full-fledged autonomous driving. It's a fully-automated, self-driving electric transport (it is designed around "Level Five" autonomy, which requires no human input other than a destination) and suggests that VW has either been looking deep into the future, or that Wolfsburg's engineers have been watching a Minority Report DVD on hard rotation.
"We are convinced that fully-automated vehicles will make life in our cities better, more eco-friendly and above all safer", he said in a statement.
Further, Volkswagen has designed this concept vehicle keeping the idea of ride-sharing in mind. The Sedric also explores how the vehicle will exist in a shared economy, being conceived to be used within a sharing platform for use by multiple users.
It's operated via a special key which VW calls the OneButton, which the operator presses to summon the Sedric. At CES earlier this year, Toyota unveiled its Concept-i vehicle, complete with built-in artificial intelligence called "Yui". "The Button is the link between the user and Sedric", the company says. "And it is the "Father" of numerous concepts for a new form of individual mobility". Voice commands can be used to allow passengers to tell the Sedric where to go, how to get there and when to return for the next trip.
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The Sedric is fully electric, and the compact battery layout makes room for a 2+2 cabin, while the car's fully autonomous nature means there are no pedals or a steering wheel. In addition, this will also help the German brand improve its image that got affected due to the diesel emission scandal.
Created to be shared between multiple users, Sedric can be summoned via a smartphone, directed by voice control, and includes a concierge-style operator service occupants can contact in case it's flummoxed by a particular command. And as Sedric drove them to their destination passengers could read a book, take a nap or stay entertained via the windshield which doubled as a large LED screen with augmented reality.
Take another good look at the exterior and you'll notice the Sedric does not wear a single VW badge.
Not only will vehicle electrification be a major part of the Volkswagen Group's strategy, but autonomous driving technologies will play a more important role as well. But Sedric can equally well be an individually configured owned vehicle of one of the Volkswagen Group's brands.