Volkswagen Group Sedric
Latest tech showcased
The Volkswagen Group’s self-driving Sedric concept car features several technologies that will make production on a raft of vehicles in around 10 years’ time, according to the firm’s head of R&D, Ulrich Eichorn.
Sedric — which is an acronym for Self-driving Car — is the first concept car to be made on a group level and previews a high-tech vision for the future of individual mobility.
The Volkswagen Group describes the Sedric as the “father of numerous concepts” already under development, but CEO Matthias Müller stressed that the firm will never make a car under the group name. Instead, he said, the technology on the Sedric was applicable to all group brands, which include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda and VW.
Eichorn added: “We have been working on concepts like this for at least 20 years, but it is only now that the technology exists to start pulling it together. We have the MEB electric car platform that gives us the space and architecture required. We have 3D mapping that allows us to navigate at least as well as a human, and so on.
“Sedric shows that the technology can become a reality. We won’t build the car you see here, but a lot of the things you see on the car will make it to production.”
The Sedric is little bigger than the footprint of a VW Up, but because there is no combustion engine or control functions beyond three buttons — Go, Stop and Call for assistance — there is room for four adults to sit facing each other in a lounge-like interior.
The Sedric has speech-controlled propulsion via an electric motor sited within the rear axle. It delivers around 134bhp and draws on a lithium ion battery pack mounted within the flat floor. This provides a claimed range of around 250 miles.
Showcasing its potential benefits for people with impaired vision, the Sedric was unveiled with a mobility controller, dubbed Onebutton. With one press, the controller hails the Sedric, displaying its arrival time with coloured alerts and a vibration signal.
The Sedric was also conceived to dovetail with the Volkswagen Group’s recent investment in the mobility service provider Gett and its own in-house mobility service provider, Moia.
Eichorn believes cars like this will initially find favour in controlled environments such as factories and car parks, then with people looking to car share, and finally as privately owned cars. “There will be an evolutionary process to usage,” he said.
Many of the features used by the Sedric will make production