General. Travel from Volkswagen reveals how we’ll drive in the future, why a car might replace an airplane – and what it’s all supposed to.
What’s the best way to put it? Perhaps like this: When it comes to the cars of tomorrow, not everyone in charge of the big car companies has the same imagination. That’s why show cars are so important – and that’s why concept cars like the GEN.Travel are more than just a designer fantasy to spend more and more money on.
Is it still a car or a polished stone with wheels?
“Sometimes you have to think through an idea to the end and present it in a life-size form. Preferably so perfect that you can touch, feel and feel everything,” says Klaus Zaciora (60), VW Group’s design manager responsible for all ten brands. This helped her with ID.Buzz, which she debuted in 2017. It would never have been made without the show car (and the enthusiastic reactions to it).
Auto Build meets with Zyciora and his team at the VW Design Center in Potsdam, exclusively with Peter Wuda, Future Center head and project manager for the car we stand in front of: Gen.Travel.
After all, it still has four wheels. Fuh. hinged doors. Okay. But no steering wheel, no pedals, no display. Ahh. And the windscreen looks like a curved TV. Joyciora: “This is a car that doesn’t belong to any brand in the group, doesn’t follow any design language you’re already familiar with. On purpose.” On the reverse side “VOLKSWAGEN GROUP” is written.
thing should run completely autonomously
The car is an electric IEV (Innovation Experience Vehicle), translated as premium-class innovation carrier that aims to redefine the journey of the future. Level 5-capable, the thing should run completely autonomously and also charge new power independently along the way. The windscreen-shaped inspiration was the Rumpler teardrop car shown at the Berlin Motor Show 101 years ago.
Peter Wooda: “The concept is not looking back, but looking forward 15 years. When the technical possibilities are met, we have endless possibilities. We will use it. This car has to be customer friendly, not its Adverse.”
Overnight Driving from Munich to Hamburg
That is why the interior follows what the customer wants: does he want to be driven from Hamburg to Munich overnight? for two?
Then Gen.Travel comes up with two armchairs that can be converted into a comfortable bed la Lufthansa First Class, complete with fruit and champagne, with plenty of privacy.
Does the customer want to use the trip as a business visit? Then there are four armchairs on board, plus an espresso machine and a paper shredder, if desired.
Does the customer want to visit the Mediterranean Sea with family? Then there’s a new seat structure, augmented reality glasses (for fun), cold drinks or even ice cream.
Designer Vuda: “This kind of car is ordered, not owned. If you wish, you can install it in front of the door for exactly the function you expect.”
Perhaps most comparable to ridesharing agency 2NetJets2 for Learjets, where customers pay an annual fee in exchange for a very nice right to use the private jet.
What are innovations?
With augmented reality glasses, vehicle functions and routes become visible, with the rest of the “Luna”, the personal onboard assistant, done by voice. It also “rotates” from left to right on the dashboard, thus visualizing the route to your destination. If you wake up a few times in the night and he’s already on the right side, you know it’s not far off.
Each passenger gets a smart controller with which they can adjust their seat, temperature and volume. Incidentally, the cars may be on the road as a fleet, lined together like pearls on a string of pearls.
“You need to be free from the way we travel today”
VW Design Boss Klaus Ziciora
Klaus Jaiciora: “You have to free yourself from the way we travel today. You save yourself airport travel, controls, waits, queues. Zero emissions, zero stress, that’s what we offer here Huh.
We asked ourselves many questions: how to steer the vehicle, how does it brake, how soft should the chassis be if people are to let go of the responsibility and go to sleep? And is it possible, below the window line. Can you turn a blind eye to this?”
Peter Wuda says: “How much outside noise do we still allow? How much light How do you bend over while lying down and where are the airbags?”
Many recycled materials in the interior
Gen.Travel shows possible solutions to all of this. The airbags are finished in bedspreads… and recycled seat fabrics are made with an intricate 3D weaving process, reclaimed copper, dashboard wood made from currant, rattan wood called conductive fluid With “injection” can be performed.
The car celebrated its premiere at the Concours d’Elegance, a meeting of historic car owners, in Chantilly (France). Board members were allowed to drive in advance, including those who are no longer.
Because that too is something special about the show car. Gen.Travel is fully playable. The computer still occupies the predetermined path as it knows it down to the last centimeter. Some more distant future? Can you tell me where to go…
Reader. Organizer. General creator. Zombie fanatic. Alcohol advocate. Food junkie. Bacon ninja.