We love a wild, futuristic concept car, and the Volkswagen Gen Travel is exactly that. Making its debut Friday, the Gen Travel is electric, autonomous and has a completely reconfigurable cabin that transforms seats into beds. It even has ambient lighting specifically designed to influence melatonin production. When’s the last time a car actively tried to make you sleepy?
The so-called “overnight setup” is only one of the many ways the Gen Travel’s seating can be repositioned. There’s a “conference setup” with four seats and a large table in the middle, and here, Volkswagen says the ambient lighting “creates a pleasant working environment” while also helping alleviate motion sickness. No excuses for not finishing that important business executive bandwidth strategies presentation, then.
Additionally, the seats can recline in all sorts of ways, and there appear to be tray tables that extend from the dashboard, making it easier to eat your business women’s lunch special on the way to your next meeting. Augmented reality displays can even project various images designed to entertain kids. Or adults. Adults like cartoons, too.
The upright, glass-heavy cabin should let in a lot of light, and Volkswagen says the bottom of the side windows sits at waist level, giving you a great view of what’s outside. When you’re lying down in sleepytime mode, you’re positioned below the window, so you won’t be hit with harsh light (and so people can’t peep at you while you’re snoozing). Finally, the concept’s gullwing doors don’t just look awesome, they make the car easier to get in and out of, too.
Volkswagen says the Gen Travel is totally electric, but the company hasn’t released any information specific to the powertrain. Instead, Volkswagen says the Gen Travel has Electric Active Body Control that calculates the car’s movements ahead of time and adjusts the suspension parameters accordingly, keeping things as smooth as possible. Interestingly, Volkswagen also says the Gen Travel is capable of “platooning,” or driving in a convoy to increase range — think of it as autonomous hypermiling.
Obviously, the Gen Travel is not a production-intent project. This concept merely gives us a vision at what Volkswagen imagines for the future, though the company says “individual features may later be transferred to series vehicles.” If you want to see it for yourself, the Gen Travel will be displayed at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance festival near Paris on Sept. 24.