AUTO

Volkswagen launches OnePod – An electric, fully autonomous concept model

Following in the footsteps of many other car manufacturers, Volkswagen is now also introducing a concept that showcases its future fully autonomous vehicle vision.

The leaders in the auto industry are working towards Level 5 autonomous capabilities, but it will be years before they get there and people will actually have fully self-driving cars on the road. Street. However, now many manufacturers are also showing people their vision of what that future vision looks like.

Volkswagen is the latest automaker to enter the fully autonomous car race of the future with the new OnePod concept. Developed by Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe in Potsdam for DRIVE’s “Go.City – The Future of Urban Mobility” event, the OnePod is a research concept created with the specific purpose of showing what Volkswagen vehicles will be. How will it be affected by switching to electric power and achieving full self-driving capability?

As for the OnePod name, the word “One” represents the “One Solution for All” mindset as it will be the vehicle provided with a customizable layout that makes it suitable for any task, from public transport (robotaxi) to privately owned or serviced fleets. Whereas “Pod” refers to the form of a closed chamber.

The OnePod is a cute box that looks small but offers plenty of space inside. It can accommodate up to 6 passengers and comes with a foldable bike rack in the rear for a last-mile transport solution. The doors are sliding open, allowing easy access even for people with disabilities or people carrying luggage and strollers.

Not only that, the OnePod’s sensors can instantly detect the height of the curb when it pulls over, and the car will automatically lower the floor for passengers to step in. In the case of the robotaxi role, the right to enter will be granted when the vehicle identifies the passenger (or multiple passengers), and automatically opens the door. The display at the door greets and informs passengers of every necessary step in the journey.

The OnePod, like many other similar concept models, features wide glass panels and windows that double as screens. Large glass panels surround the vehicle, and another is on the roof so passengers can choose between enjoying the view on the go or catching up on their favorite shows. The occupant controls are integrated into the adjustable armrest.

The German marque’s futuristic concept will be able to communicate with the outside world through front and rear light strips, and a display screen at the front. Volkswagen notes that the system will “notify and warn other road users”, an idea that is not new and has been incorporated into similar concepts.

The OnePod will be on display at DRIVE’s “Go.City – The Future of Urban Mobility” exhibition in Berlin, Germany until December 31, 2021.

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