— The Volkswagen Sedric may look like an evil lunchbox looking for trouble, but VW has high hopes for its autonomous driverless car of the future. The automaker created the car from scratch for the sole purpose of focusing on autonomous technology that will allegedly one day rule the roads.
Deploying Sedric on the roads is a goal of Volkswagen as the automaker continues to suffer the consequences of its emissions scandal that has cost the company billions of dollars. VW is taking autonomous technology seriously after investing in mobility service provider Gett and by establishing mobility service provider MOIA to handle various kinds of work on driverless car technology.
Sedric is the first car from Volkswagen that was created for level 5 autonomous driving that doesn't require a driver behind the steering wheel, primarily because there won't be a steering wheel.
Volkswagen has grand plans for Sedric where anyone will be able to use the car with a simple touch of a button that links the user and the car. By using the remote control button, the system will indicate Sedric’s arrival time with colored signals and a vibration signal that guides a person with impaired vision to the car.
VW says it wants to market its little self-driving lunchbox as a friend and companion of the family, a reliable friend available at the press of a button.
The automaker is pushing the coming benefits of using Sedric to send the car to pick up groceries or drop off kids at school by using voice controls or applications from smartphones.
Occupants will also be able to talk to Sedric such as when a passenger enters the car and the passenger tells Sedric where to go and how to get there and the driving time and current traffic conditions. Once the car is moving, passengers can take a nap or watch the windshield that is really an entertainment center.
The build of the car will allegedly give occupants a feeling of safety with reinforced roof pillars and a two-part swing door that extends into the roof, allowing passengers and their supplies plenty of room.
VW says the basic body style (a box) comes from a new engineering structure that contains a flat battery pack located between the axles, with the electric motor located at the level of the wheels. In addition, systems like air conditioning or the electronic intelligence of the self-driving system are positioned in the overhangs at the front and rear.
According to VW, the interior of Sedric will feel like a wide-open space considering a driver, steering wheel and pedals are not needed in the cars. The way Volkswagen sees it, the missing steering wheel, pedals and driver will give occupants a "sense of wellbeing in the vehicle – a welcome home feeling" surrounded by birch leather used to upholster the interior.
The automaker says the inside will be like a garden, with live air-purifying plants placed in front of the rear windshield to "enhance the effect of generously dimensioned bamboo charcoal air filters."
Volkswagen didn't throw out any ideas about what the little chauffeur on wheels will cost.