Many automakers dream of self-driving cars that are effectively armchairs on wheels, but VW is going one step further. the brand has sleepless a Gen.Travel “design study” EV that he hopes can replace short haulers. The four-person travel pod would be completely self-contained (ie SAE Level 5) and revolve around a modular interior that can be customized for each journey. Entrepreneurs could work at a conference table during a trip, while red-eyed travelers could use two seats that convert to beds.

The Gen.Travel could also be more comfortable than even some of the best airline seats. Dynamic lighting would not only help maintain natural sleep cycles, but also reduce motion sickness. A front-seat setup could keep kids (and let’s be honest, adults) entertained with augmented reality. While the bubble-shaped cabin is built to maximize views outside, it promises security and seclusion for sleeping passengers.


VW did not describe the performance. However, he said a combination of AI and platoons (automated convoy driving) could extend the range.

This is a research project aimed at testing driverless pods as “mobility as a service” options. You will probably never sit in the Gen.Travel. It’s a real prototype though, and VW says the features could find their way into production cars. We wouldn’t count on all of them making it to the autonomous machines VW hopes to build from 2025, but don’t be surprised if future robotaxis look awfully familiar.

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