VW Gen.Travel concept

Level 5 already… and we’ve put a man on Mars, I’ve seen the film.

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Level 5? VW concept claim goes largely unchallenged

In late September, at the glamorous Chantilly Arts & Elegance event, near Paris, Volkswagen Group unveiled the Gen.Travel, an all-electric Level 5 concept vehicle. Sorry, did you just spill your tea?

“The all-electric powered Innovation Experience Vehicle (IEV) is a real prototype that drives autonomously (Level 5) and gives a realistic outlook for the mobility of the coming decade,” said the VW blurb. Sounds amazing.

Dr. Nikolai Ardey, Head of Volkswagen Group Innovation, says: “With Gen.Travel, we can already experience today what will be possible in the near future with innovative technology. Door-to-door travel at a new level. Emission-free and stress-free.”

Are VW really claiming to have cracked Level 5? That’s certainly the impression given by some reports.

“Volkswagen is presenting a new way of traveling in luxury and relaxation, with its new vehicle prototype featuring Level 5 autonomy that takes the wheel all the way from departure to arrival,” said Tech Times.

A quick reminder, the SAE international standard describes Level 5 as: “Can drive everywhere in all conditions”. That’s quite an ask.

In our 2020 long-read, Kevin Vincent, Director at the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Automotive Research, mused: “Level 5 in terms of anytime anywhere automation is very difficult; I sometimes wonder if it will be possible, and whether people will even want it.”

Not a problem, apparently VW have sorted it!

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched Carsofthefuture.co.uk in 2019.