Volk­swa­gen’s self-driv­ing pod

Fu­tur­is­tic au­tonomous Sedric 2+2 is re­vealed; due by 2025

Auto Express - - Contents - James Brodie James_brodie@den­nis.co.uk @jim­my­brods

Fu­tur­is­tic au­tonomous con­cept elec­tric four-seater re­vealed

VOLK­SWA­GEN pulled the wraps off its hi-tech vi­sion for a fully au­tonomous, self-driv­ing pod at last week’s Geneva Mo­tor Show. Called the Sedric, the con­cept hints at the en­tire VW Group’s au­tonomous fu­ture across its var­i­ous mar­ques. Bosses call it a “cross-brand ideas plat­form”, but it’s likely to form a part of VW’S new MOIA mo­bil­ity brand, es­tab­lished last year.

The name is short for Self-driv­ing Car, and the Sedric fea­tures five li­dar scan­ners, seven cam­eras and a num­ber of ad­di­tional sen­sors. All this makes the car a Level 5 au­tonomous ve­hi­cle – mean­ing it can drive it­self com­pletely in­de­pen­dently.

It’s op­er­ated via a Oneb­ut­ton key, pressed by the op­er­a­tor to sum­mon the ve­hi­cle. In­for­ma­tion is fed back about its time of ar­rival, and once oc­cu­pants are on board, the Sedric uses ad­vanced voice con­trol to set a des­ti­na­tion, plan rest stops, choose a route and other func­tions.

The Sedric is fully elec­tric and makes use of VW’S MEB elec­tric car plat­form. 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.

VW CEO Matthias Müller said: “We are con­vinced that fully au­to­mated ve­hi­cles will make life in our cities bet­ter, more eco-friendly and, above all, safer.

“Sedric gives the first con­crete fore­taste of that to­day. Sedric is a trail­blazer and idea plat­form for au­tonomous driv­ing. Many el­e­ments and func­tions of this con­cept car will reap­pear in ve­hi­cles from our brands in the com­ing years.”

The VW Group is cur­rently spend­ing bil­lions in a bid to have self-driv­ing cars on the mar­ket by 2025. The pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the up­com­ing I.D. hatch­back will be the first to fea­ture au­tonomous tech­nol­ogy.

Volk­swa­gen de­scribes the Sedric as a “fa­ther” con­cept ve­hi­cle that will even­tu­ally spawn other “child” and “grand­child” ve­hi­cles from var­i­ous dif­fer­ent brands within the VW Group.

How­ever, VW says the au­tonomous cars cre­ated across the group will all ex­hibit their own in­di­vid­ual brand char­ac­ter, and won’t be tied down to a cen­tral idea of a self-driv­ing ‘VW Group’ car.

OF­FI­CIAL SMART Oneb­ut­ton key sum­mons the car and in­forms the op­er­a­tor of its ar­rival time

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