Volkswagen unveils its new self-driving concept car

Riding a self-driving Uber around San Francisco
Riding a self-driving Uber around San Francisco

Volkswagen just debuted its new self-driving concept car -- it's name is Sedric.

The big reveal came at the Geneva Motor Show on Monday. Sedric is the first member of a new family of self-driving cars from Volkswagen Group.

Sedric looks a lot like a pearlescent ski resort cable car -- minus the cable. It has no steering wheel or pedals, since there won't be a driver. Occupants sit facing one another across an open floor.

Related: Google's Waymo sues Uber over self-driving car technology

Since Sedric is an electric car it, doesn't have an engine to take up space, so it's roomy inside.

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View of the inside of the Sedric concept car.

To help freshen the air, there are air purifying plants -- actual plants -- positioned just inside the rear window.

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Live plants will serve as air purifiers.

Sedric responds to spoken voice commands from the car's occupants, and the inside of the windshield acts as a computer display to show maps and other information.

Related: Ford just invested $1 billion in self-driving cars

VW envisions Sedric as part of a fleet of self-driving vehicles. To summon a car, users would press a button on a remote control. The remote, theoretically, would operate anywhere in the world.

In the future, VW plans to make different versions of this car for its various global brands, which include Audi, Bentley and Skoda.

But VW's performance brands Porsche and Lamborghini would never get a car like this, said VW's head of research Ulrich Eichhorn, since people buy those cars because they want to drive them.

But if other brands do debut a version of Sedric, they would be meant for individual ownership and not part of the company's ride-share service. Volkswagen believes that, even with self-driving cars, many customers will still prefer to buy their own.

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