As the European auto industry embraces mobility services, Seat wants to be in the driver’s seat as part of parent Volkswagen Group’s push into robotaxis.
Seat will start reviewing "the way we build cars and start to build cars and vehicles designed for a service," Arantxa Alonso, Seat's head of business development, told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
For example, she said, an urban environment requires agility, speed and easy parking capabilities. That means a purely urban vehicle would not have to satisfy certain requirements for driving on highways.
"Our r&d department should be able to deliver the first prototypes by the end of this year and we might show them a few months later," Alonso said. Those prototypes might not even be a car but a mixture with something else, she said.
“We have to think laterally,” Alonso said, “because otherwise, someone could come and disrupt us. Disruption comes fast and is hard to predict."
The research includes robotaxis. “We want to be one of these robotaxi operators of the future,” Alonso said, adding, “We are mainly focusing on private, end-to-end mobility.”