March 7, 2017

"Self-driving Volkswagen 'Sedric' pod unveiled as your futuristic personal chauffeur."

"Rather than have a standard car layout, VW is pitching Sedric as more of a lounge on wheels. It will have leather upholstery and no steering wheel or pedals."
"And the concept offers tailor-made mobility for everyone: adults and children, retirees and people with physical disabilities, city people who do not have their own car or a driving license, and visitors in a new city and suddenly decide they want to get from A to B in a convenient mobility setting."
So much better than trains. 

34 comments:

rehajm said...

Lounge on wheels, eh? Another example of porn driving innovation.

Good thing the seats are leather. Can you just take a hose to the inside?

Achilles said...

In not many years you will use your communication device, call up a vehicle and set a destination. It will arrive, pick you up, and there will be no stop signs or stop lights or merging slow downs or pedestrians. You will travel between 20-50 miles per hour straight to the destination in a vehicle that pauses every 30 miles or so to recharge a super-capacitor.

There will be no traffic. Most current areas have all of the road capacity they need. It will take some time to extend this out to some rural areas where driver piloted vehicles will exist for a while.

Ben Jarrell said...

Pretty futuristic for a public toilet.

Joe said...

When VW indemnifies all "drivers" then I might stop laughing at them.

Achilles said...

Joe said...
When VW indemnifies all "drivers" then I might stop laughing at them.

Imagine Las Angeles with no traffic delays.

This can happen with current technology and will happen sooner than you think.

Owen said...

Another wet dream from CGI. How is VW going to build this after its remaining net worth goes into fines for having cooked the diesel emission software?

rehajm said...

This can happen with current technology and will happen sooner than you think.

So sooner than when pigs fly?

bagoh20 said...

I want a self-driving car with the passionate heat of a thousand suns, but that thing does not have enough ground clearance to get over a speed bump or common pothole.

campy said...

So much better than trains.

Blasphemy!

mockturtle said...

Am I the only one here who enjoys driving???

gadfly said...

Sedric, spelled Cedric by Sir Walter Scott for the character Cedric of Rotherwood in the book "Ivanhoe" way back in 1819. It appears to be from Cerdic, the name of the traditional founder of the kingdom of Wessex. Cerdic was a Saxon, and his name could also have been of Germanic origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name Caratacos, derived from the Celtic element car meaning "love."

So the Sedric is a German-built ride for people who love eating tacos in car!

Somebody had to do the research and I took care of that for you.

Ann Althouse said...

It won't be usable for sex and excretion. It will be completely on camera, total surveillance. You won't even be able to have a private conversation or unobserved kissing and fondling.

Owen said...

No scratching of certain regions. No nose-mining. No (audible) emissions.

Pure Statist bliss!

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

It won't be usable for sex and excretion. It will be completely on camera, total surveillance.

Do you really believe you have explained how it won't be usable for sex and excretion?

gadfly said...

For some odd reason, VW is staying away from the diesel-fueled vehicle concept. Could that mean that owners out of battery charge will be less costly to the automaker than owners of VW diesels?

The question before the house is: Does VW artificial intelligence work better than faulty VW human intelligence?

Alexander said...

Yes, but how many people want to have a mobile lounge that can be driven by the CIA.

Makes you think.

jaydub said...

"This can happen with current technology and will happen sooner than you think."

Not likely. It might be possible to do air travel this way because, other than fellow flying pods, there wouldn't be a lot else in the sky to account for. Ditto for ships on the sea. However, there are an infinite number of random events that can and do happen on roads. Events like Bambi committing vehicular suicide, a kid chasing a ball into the street, a tree blown across the road by a wind gust, a sink hole opening in the road, the couch falling out of the pod in front of you, a highjacker deciding to ram your pod, etc, etc. All of those would need to be accommodated, along with fail-safe mechanical and control systems, and accommodated at a reasonable cost. Then you would have to accommodate the multi-year transition period when you have pods and driven cars sharing the same roads. Sounds like a pipe dream.

Rusty said...

"Open the pod bay doors HAL."
"I'm sorry Dave. I can't do that."
C'mon. What could possibly go wrong.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes! I want a self-driving car like this. A living room on wheels!

But not a shared one that needs surveillance. I want free wheeling conversation to take place in there, not conversation before the Big Brother.

Michael K said...

"How is VW going to build this after its remaining net worth goes into fines for having cooked the diesel emission software?"

I suspect Trump will find a way to cancel the bullshit diesel emission standards from the EPA.

I would use one. I drive to Phoenix in the morning and do it twice a week. Stopping every 30 miles wouldn't do it though.

It's 108 miles from home to office and it takes 1 1/2 hours going up and 2 hours going home (later in the day).

Owen said...

Michael K: sounds as if you are in general Tucson area? We have only visited AZ a few times (Sedona 1x, Tucson 3x) but like those parts of it a lot. Enjoy.

The Godfather said...

I can imagine the appeal of such a vehicle in certain limited areas, but not where most of us drive most of the time. I went to law school in NYC in the late '60's, and most people I knew did not use a car. I visited NYC pretty often over the next quarter century. If you were a native, you took the subway or a bus; if you were a tourist, you took cabs. It all worked pretty well (thanks to Mayor Lindsay, the subway became pretty awful, though). So you could certainly replace the cabs with self-driving cars, and if the price were low enough you could probably replace the buses and (maybe) the subways.

I spent my professional life in and around Washington, DC. I guess the self-driving cars could work there, but the metro area is so spread out that you'd really need a longer battery charge to get from downtown to Fredrick and Fredricksburg, or many other suburban destinations.

Where I live now, in a village in NC, I can't imagine anyone using the self-driving car except the elderly who can't drive themselves (a self-driving golf cart might appeal).

So in calculating the economics of any form of public transportation (which is what this is) you have to include the cost of many people owning and garaging a private car. And the self-driving car is going to have to deal with cars that are driven by flawed and sinful human beings. Sorry, Utopians, that's the way it is.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It won't be usable for sex and excretion. It will be completely on camera, total surveillance.

Total surveillance <> "not usable for sex." Ask Laslo. Hell, ask these two about a Domino's Pizza lobby.

Ann Althouse said...So much better than trains.

Better for whom, comrade? For those selfish individualists who think their personal desires should have precedence over the order, efficiency, and needs of the State, maybe. Why should such vermin be celebrated?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The Godfather said...So in calculating the economics of any form of public transportation (which is what this is) you have to include the cost of many people owning and garaging a private car. And the self-driving car is going to have to deal with cars that are driven by flawed and sinful human beings. Sorry, Utopians, that's the way it is.

*ahem*
Rush - Red Barchetta

Michael K said...

"Michael K: sounds as if you are in general Tucson area?"

Yup. Love it. My wife is still getting used to a neighborhood with no sidewalks and each house with an acre. Sonoran desert is much nicer than California deserts.

mockturtle said...

I blame the millennial generation. They don't get freedom. Poor kids.

They don't want to do anything that might distract them from their phones. Like driving.

Jersey Fled said...

When I was a kid the promise was that we would all have flying cars in our garages.

This won't happen either.

Original Mike said...

"So much also, for Volkswagon's "Drivers Wanted" campaign."

Yeah, no kidding.

Owen said...

Michael K: "Sonoran desert...". Yes. Striking visually and surprisingly complex ecology. Love Tohono Chul, Ansel Adams collection, much more.

uffda said...

Forget short trips in complex urban traffic. Just give me an add-on computer module that will let me put my own vehicle on auto-pilot on the interstate. I'll never fly again.

Sam's Hideout said...

I hear "mobility pod" and I think "Segway Personal Transporter on steroids".

Freder Frederson said...

there will be no stop signs or stop lights or merging slow downs or pedestrians.

Where will all of the pedestrians have gone? You apparently have never been in a major city, or a town of any size, in your life.

Joe said...

Achilles:

The problem with all these self-driving cars is that they are going after full autonomy, not the one that would pay off the most with the highest level of reliability, which is freeway driving.

Semi-automated freeway driving would offer the most bang for the buck at remarkably low real costs. However, for it to work, all vehicles have to be communicating with each other and probably a central system monitoring everything. Having every vehicle be entirely automated, yet autonomous doesn't actually solve the problem and will probably make it worse.