At Chantilly Arts & Elegance near Paris, the Volkswagen Group will present an innovative design study that will redefine the long-distance mobility of the future on September 24. The all-electric powered Innovation Experience Vehicle (IEV) is a real prototype that drives autonomously (Level 5) and gives a realistic outlook for the mobility of the coming decade. The car’s modular interior concept makes it a flexible, sustainable Mobility-as-a-Service alternative to short-haul flights. As a research vehicle, the purpose of the Gen.Travel is to test the concept and new functionalities for customer response. Based on the study results, individual features may later be transferred to series vehicles.
With GEN.TRAVEL, the Volkswagen Group has developed an iconic, innovation-packed study that constitutes a completely new vehicle category in the premium portfolio between sedan and MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle). “With its NEW AUTO strategy, Volkswagen defines the mobility for generations to come – sustainable and digital,“ says 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 drives autonomously and turns the driver into a relaxed passenger who has time for other things: Work. Relaxation. Entertainment. Family. Klaus Zyciora, Head of Volkswagen Group Design, explains: “The GEN.TRAVEL offers us a glimpse of the travel of the future. 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.”
The GEN.TRAVEL has a unique, modular interior concept that can be customized for each journey and booked as a Mobility-as-a-Service offering. Depending on the configuration, up to four people can be transported in the concept vehicle. For business trips, the conference setup with four comfortable seats and a large table in the middle of the interior provides relaxed surroundings. Dynamic lighting creates a pleasant working environment and avoids the danger of kinetosis (motion sickness). A configuration in the overnight-setup allows the conversion of two seats into two beds that can be folded out to a full-flat position.
An innovative passenger restraint system ensures maximum safety even in a lying position. The GEN.TRAVEL lighting system influences melatonin production to help passengers fall asleep and wake up naturally. For family trips, the GEN.TRAVEL with front seats can be configured to entertain the children using augmented reality (AR). The interior is light, with a natural design. All HMI (human-machine interface) elements are produced using sustainable materials, combined with recycled or natural materials.
The futuristic exterior of the GEN.TRAVEL is divided into two parts: The transparent, glass cabin is perfectly incorporated into the lower section, which houses all the technical features. The edge of the window is at waist level, making it very low so as to maximize the view of the outside. At the same time, when passengers are lying down flat in the car, they do not experience any external influences. The wing doors of the GEN.TRAVEL facilitate better entry and exit.
For maximum comfort, the GEN.TRAVEL has the active suspension eABC (electric Active Body Control) that calculates vertical and lateral movements such as acceleration, braking, or cornering ahead of time, and optimizes the driving style and trajectory accordingly. Artificial intelligence (AI) and platooning – fully autonomous driving in convoys – are used to further increase the range for long-distance journeys.