The Future Is Now – Volvo Cars and Microsoft enable people to talk to their cars
More than 33 years after the popular American TV show Knight Rider showed David Hasselhoff talking to his car KITT, Volvo and Microsoft are launching a wearable-enabled voice control system.
Volvo owners will be able to talk to their car via their Microsoft Band 2, allowing them to instruct their vehicle to perform tasks including, setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app Volvo on Call and the connected wearable device.
In November 2015 Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. HoloLens is the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, which could be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy car. Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2 as another proof-point in their ambition to jointly develop next generation automotive technologies.
“Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. With voice control we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities,” said Thomas M. Müller, Vice President Electrics/ Electronics & Chassis at Volvo Car Group.
In recent times Volvo Cars’ has begun to focus closely on innovations outside the traditional automotive arena, keen on opening up potential partnerships and new business models.
“When innovating we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. If a technology does not make a customer’s life easier, better, safer or more fun, we don’t use it. Let’s face it – who hasn’t dreamed of talking to their car via a wrist worn wearable?” said Klas Bendrik Senior Vice President and Group Chief Information Officer at Volvo Car Group.
"Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of business development at Microsoft. "Together with Volvo, we're just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity."
The new possibility to connect to a Volvo with voice control through Microsoft Band 2 will be available for customers in Volvo on Call enabled markets in spring 2016.
Volvo Cars and Ericsson developing intelligent media streaming for self-driving cars
Volvo Cars is looking ahead to when its drivers can sit back and enjoy free time in their car on the daily commute.
At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Volvo revealed that it is developing intelligent, high-bandwidth streaming capabilities with its technology partner, Ericsson, that will ensure drivers and passengers get the most out of their time traveling in an autonomous Volvo.
“We recently unveiled our design vision for fully autonomous cars with Concept 26. Now we are actively working on future solutions to deliver the best user experience in fully autonomous mode. Imagine a highway full of autonomous cars with their occupants sitting back watching their favorite TV shows in high definition. This new way of commuting will demand new technology and a much broader bandwidth to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience,” said Anders Tylman, General Manager Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center at Volvo Car Group.
Interruption-free media streaming
Autonomous drive will bring a paradigm shift to mobile net demands. Volvo and Ericsson believe that this shift will result in an increased need for consistent and high-bandwidth coverage outside densely populated areas such as city centers and suburbs.
Utilizing Ericsson’s network and cloud expertise, Volvo Cars’ aim is to deliver a high-quality, interruption-free experience in its cars while on the move. By predicting your route and looking ahead at network conditions, content can be tailored to the duration of each trip and intelligently buffered to deliver a high-quality and uninterrupted viewing experience.
“Our research shows that almost 70 per cent of all mobile data traffic will be from video in the coming years. This requires an innovative connectivity, cloud and analytics solution that is not only capable of serving multiple moving vehicles across a highway, but also has the capacity to provide the high-quality, uninterrupted video service today’s consumer is accustomed to,” said Claes Herlitz, Head of Automotive Services at Ericsson.
By learning the most common routes and times of travel, and understanding media preferences, future Volvo cars will be able to provide one-click navigation and a customized preference-based list of potential media – allowing customers to choose routes and select content tailored to the amount of autonomous time that is available during their commute.
Personalized and optimized content
“If you want to watch the latest episode of your favorite series, the car will know how long the journey needs to take and can optimize the route and driving control accordingly. With autonomous drive it is no longer just a question of getting from A to B quickly – it’s about the experience you wish to have in the car, how you wish to spend the time you are saving. With our future autonomous drive technology we will provide people with the freedom to choose the way they would like to commute and the content they would like to experience,” concluded Anders Tylman.
Volvo T6 Drive-E engine named one of Wards 10 Best Engines
Rockleigh, NJ (November 10, 2015) – Volvo Cars’ T6 Drive-E engine has been named one of Wards 10 Best Engines. Editors called it “arguably the new benchmark for high-output 4-cyl engines.”
The winning T6 Drive-E engine can be found in the all-new XC90 SUV and recently announced S90 luxury sedan. More information about the XC90 and all Volvo cars can be found at www.volvocars.com/us
“Achieving an effective level of balance across comfort, efficiency and power has been the ultimate goal for our creation of the Drive-E engine family across our global model range,” said Michael Fleiss, Vice President, Powertrain at Volvo Car Group. “The T6 Drive-E’s use of both supercharging and turbocharging, which is also being utilized in the new XC90, delivers a lively, compelling result. We are honored to again receive recognition for our engines from Ward’s as we continue to pioneer new, effective technologies for our vehicles and customers.”
WardsAuto editors selected the winners after spending October and November studying and driving all 31 nominees. There is no instrumented testing – only everyday driving to and from home, work, school, the grocery store and grandma’s house.
Editors score each engine based on horsepower, torque, comparative specs, noise attenuation, fuel economy and the application of new technology. The guiding principles: Does the engine or electric propulsion system truly sell the car or raise the bar for its competitive set?
Read the full article on the Wards Auto website here