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Self-driving Volkswagen SEDRIC concept revealed in Geneva

New self-driving VW SEDRIC 'pod' is fully autonomous and could be on the road by 2025

Volkswagen pulled the wraps off its hi-tech vision for a fully autonomous self-driving 'pod' at the Geneva Motor Show. The SEDRIC is a concept from Volkswagen Group, the parent firm of VW, Audi and all its other sub-brands, and it features a raft of technology that has been developed by top engineers at the VW Group. The SEDRIC demonstrates the potential for it to be used as the basis of a number of new models from all of the VW Group's brands.

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SEDRIC is an acronym of Self-Driving Car, and the concept features five lidar scanners, seven cameras and a number of additional sensors to make it a Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle, enabling it to offer transportation for those not normally able to drive.

New Volkswagen SEDRIC review

It's operated via a special key which VW calls the OneButton, which the operator presses to summon the SEDRIC. Information is given about its time of arrival, and once on board, the SEDRIC uses advanced voice control for occupants to set a destination, plan rest stops, choose a route, and other useful functions.

The SEDRIC is fully electric, and the compact battery layout makes room for a 2+2 cabin, while the car's fully autonomous nature means there are no pedals or a steering wheel. VW is currently spending billions of Euros on autonomous tech, so by the time the SEDRIC hits the road in the middle of the next decade, it will have the most advanced self-driving technology ever seen.

VW CEO Matthias Müller revealed the SEDRIC concept, and said: “We are convinced that fully-automated vehicles will make life in our cities better, more eco-friendly and above all safer. SEDRIC gives the first concrete foretaste of that today. SEDRIC is a trailblazer and idea platform for autonomous driving. Many elements and functions of this concept car will reappear in vehicles from our brands in the coming years.”

Part of that development will see the SEDRIC be the parent vehicle that pioneers the technology for child and grandchild vehicles from other brands within the VW Group. While the idea of seeing the SEDRIC with badges as varied as Skoda, Audi and even Bugatti is probably a bit wide of the mark, VW intends to use SEDRIC's technology on vehicles across its portfolio of marques.

Is the VW SEDRIC the car of the future? Let us know in the comments...

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Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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