DID WE JUST GET a good snapshot at the future of 'school bussing' with Volkswagen premiering its autonomous SEDRIC school-bus concept in Geneva, recently?

Well, that's one way to get kids to want to go to school. Behold the autonomous VW SEDRIC school bus concept.

Don't let the seating capacity fool you (there are ways around that - stay tuned), the idea is to have on-demand shuttles like SEDRIC pick up the kids, deliver and return them to school safely, and give parents more time to get their shopping, washing, cooking, cleaning and Netflix binges sorted – or so one would think. Or hope.

Although SEDRIC as a concept is not new – it debuted in its original form about a year ago at the 2017 International Geneva Motorshow – this school bus version recently wowed punters at the Volkswagen Group Night Geneva – Shaping the Future - Urban Mobility event, this month.

According to the corporate spiel, "The company underscores the importance of SEDRIC (Self DRIving Car) as the cross-brand ideas platform for sustainable, safe, convenient mobility at the touch of a button for everyone with the exterior and interior styling in the School Bus design."

Volkswagen says it's made "big strides" in the past year in terms of the development of the Self-Driving System, but that areas of design, user experience and comfort continue to progress.

According to the company: "The advanced development of SEDRIC shown at the Volkswagen Group Night Geneva highlights the aspiration of achieving a form of individual mobility that can be applied anywhere and is available to anyone. The latest family member in the form of the SEDRIC School Bus follows on from the original SEDRIC, SEDRIC 42 and SEDRIC Nightlife. The exterior and interior styled in the School Bus design presents the Self DRIving Car as an ideal means of transport for the youngest generation. The SEDRIC mobility concept has the option of using the OneButton control element to call up a self-driving electric vehicle at the touch of a button and conveniently travelling from door to door. This allows the school run to be carried out in a simple, safe and fun journey.

"The monolithic proportions, robust body pillars and generously proportioned spaces emphasise the inviting character of the vehicle. This driving experience can also be enjoyed without a driving licence and the striking paintwork finished in yellow and black with stylised graffiti provides a clear indication that SEDRIC presents a pioneering alternative to the conventional school bus. The youthful look of the vehicle continues in the interior. Aluminium boxes decorated with stickers form the basis for two of the four seats. The front windscreen designed as a large-format OLED screen provides onboard entertainment tailored to specific target groups.

"This will make the journey time to and from school seem shorter for the younger generation," the company states.



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