Ask a child and pure electric would be equal to Tesla. The first time a practicable range and astonishing power came together in an electric car, a champion of the true potential of the genre was born. Tesla is not only an electric car—it is the symbol of autonomous driving like no other. If you consider most concept cars we hear of, we discover that they are both electric and autonomous. This leads one to wonder: is it mere coincidence or are these technologies mutually complementary?
This quest took the author to a chance preview of the SEDRIC—Volkswagen’s concept of a self-driving car that can be your chauffeur, valet and aide, all at the same time. Despite the possibility of championing the concept of connected cars (a chain of self-driving cars that jointly travel to a destination like a connected convoy, and go their separate ways once they need to turn off the highway), Volkswagen believes that this is one car people would want to own in the future. After all, it is intelligent and even carries out functions independently. SEDRIC will drop the children off at school, come back to transport you to the office, collect grocery that has been ordered, pick up a visitor from the station and, most importantly, take care of its own parking. SEDRIC does all this at the touch of a button, with voice control or with a smartphone app. There is no surprise here—the name itself is an acronym of ‘SELF DRIVING CAR’. Now, SEDRIC is a good example of where the automobile is headed. Autonomous. Electric. Intelligent.