- Published on 07 January 2014
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Volvo Cars’ Cloud Solution Offers Total Connectivity
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Jan. 7, 2014) - With the launch of Sensus Connect, Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) reveals an updated on-board infotainment and navigation solution. Now, Volvo Cars truly offers customers a fully connected experience. The cloud-based services allow drivers to find and pay for parking from their car, discover new restaurants at their destination, stream their favorite music seamlessly and much more. Sensus Connect also offers the first-ever solution utilizing built-in connectivity supported by Pandora Internet Radio.
“Technology should make your life easier. That’s why we listened carefully to our customers when creating Sensus Connect. It’s not about offering a thousand apps; it’s about giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed it,” says David Holecek, connectivity brand manager at Volvo Cars.
The brand new in-car experience includes a novel take on all aspects of traveling. Tens of thousands of radio stations can now be enjoyed in a car that is pre-heated or pre-cooled every time the customer wants to go for a drive, made possible by the remote start function on their mobile phone. The navigation system enables drivers to set destinations through their mobile device, get exciting information about their surroundings through Wikipedia and also lets them find and pay for parking at their destination. Park&Pay is the world-first integrated solution for finding and paying for parking from within your car. This application is based on car2infrastructure communication and points the way of new possibilities when the car starts to “communicate” with its surroundings.
Volvo Cars is one of few car manufacturers that strategically invests and partners in cloud-based solutions. The Volvo solution offers a branded look and feel and the possibility to remotely update content through the air and over time.
“It’s all about giving everyone an enjoyable, easy-to-use and intuitive experience. There is no point in filling a car with technology if it comes off as overwhelming, so our main focus is always to give our customers the best experience available and make it easy to digest. Our cloud-based apps update seamlessly. Sensus offers the optimal combination of input/output methods and allows drivers to turn the entire car into a Wi-Fi hotspot for all of their connected devices,” says Holecek.
By choosing partners who are the very best in their individual fields, such as Ericsson, Pandora, HERE, Yelp, Glympse and parking service providers, Volvo was able to focus on what it does best — providing a safe, comfortable and highly enjoyable ride.
“We are particularly proud to announce at CES the inclusion of Pandora Internet Radio in our launch of Sensus Connect. Sensus Connect offers the first-ever embedded solution supported by Pandora, the Internet radio service with more than 76 million active monthly listeners,” says Holecek.
Sensus Connect will allow Volvo drivers to stream Pandora via a data connection provided by the built-in modem or their smartphone. Control of Pandora features such as station creation and thumbs feedback are now available via the head unit, making access to personalized radio in the car is as easy as FM radio.
“Drivers can now seamlessly switch between their favorite music on high-end speakers and having their text messages read out loud without taking their hands off the wheel. And your car will not only tell you when it’s time to visit the garage but also will suggest an appointment for you at your Volvo dealership,” adds Holecek. “Our brand new app Connected Service Booking is only the first step in making the dealer workshop fully integrated into the digital eco-system, enabling even more services in the future. Say goodbye to expensive or outdated maps; our Sensus Navigation includes lifetime map upgrades. There’s really no reason it should be more difficult than that.”
The updated Sensus Connect includes a great selection of cloud-based applications designed to simplify the entire car experience.
“Two of my favorite parts of the new Sensus Connect are Glympse, an app where you can share your position with others to see on their phones, perfect when carpooling or visiting a friend’s house for the first time. And the entire car works as a Wi-Fi hotspot for all your connected devices, using an integrated rooftop antenna to ensure the best possible signal reception,” Holecek concludes.
All in all, Sensus Connect is there to deliver what the driver needs, when the driver needs it – to make Volvo Cars customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable without compromising safety or comfort.
The updated Sensus Connect will be available in all new Volvo models starting in May 2014. Drivers who already have Sensus Connect in their cars today will be offered an update for their system.
The 2014 Volvo Sensus solutions will include the following features among others:
- Pandora – Internet radio
- 100,000 global radio stations through TuneIn
- Rdio – streaming music service
- Stitcher – on-demand radio shows and podcasts
- Regional audiobook solutions
- Upgraded navigation system with 3D graphics and lifetime map upgrades
- Park&Pay by Parkopedia – find available parking and pay for it from your car
- Yelp – find local services, e.g., restaurants with reviews
- Glympse – dynamic, temporary location sharing
- HERE by Nokia - cloud connected services to provide seamless and connected navigation to drivers
- Send to Car – find your destination on your phone and send it to your car’s navigation system
- Wikipedia – enriched local points-of-interest information
- Baidu – local search for the Chinese market
- Refreshed HMI with graphically themed center and driver displays
- Voice control and text-to-speech
- Integrated rooftop antenna and embedded 3G modem
- WiFi hotspot in the car
- Smartphone tethering (WiFi and Bluetooth)
- Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free calling
- Smartphone app – connecting your phone to your car
- Engine remote start – app-controlled heating and cooling of the car
Connected service booking - car knows when service is due and will pre-book itself for a convenient service appointment at Volvo dealership.
Volvo Car Group explores new safety and design ideas by partnering with high-tech sports gear developer POC
Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) has established a partnership with the Swedish company POC, which develops high-tech protective gear for gravity sports athletes. The two companies will exchange knowledge in order to explore new ideas within safety and design.
“POC’s products blend functional design with lightweight, high-performance materials that offer the ultimate sense of freedom and protection when things really get rough. This is perfectly in tune with our aim to make functionality and safety an emotional experience,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
“Just like their high-tech sport gear, our cars blend sophisticated design with strength and intelligent capability. Having the right gear – in our case the car – builds peace of mind and confidence. This in turn enables you to fully enjoy your drive and your adventure,” adds Thomas Ingenlath.
Initial focus on cars and cyclists
The new partnership will explore and use the possibilities to extend the safety knowledge and product offer for Volvo Cars as well as POC. The first results will be presented in the second half of 2014. An initial research and development project focuses on communication between cars and cyclists.
“Communication with cyclists around the car is a possible extension of our groundbreaking Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology. Providing the cyclist with confirmation that he or she is seen by the vehicle can make interaction between cars and cyclists smoother and safer in urban areas,” says Jan Ivarsson, Senior Manager, Safety Strategy and Requirements at Volvo Cars.
“With POC’s mission of doing the best we can to possibly save lives and reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists, it's a treasure to interact on cycling safety together with Volvo Cars. They have the vision, competence and experience and have been leading the development within road safety for more than 80 years, “ says Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and founder of POC.
Inspiration for the new concept car
The design of the new Volvo Concept XC Coupé, which will make its world debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is inspired by the design of modern sports gear.
“Several orange details and exterior graphics combined with bold use of matte rubber mouldings, which cover the rear of the car, add to the highly functional expression of the design,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection to both an active outdoor lifestyle and Volvo Cars’ aim to offer customers a world-class safety and support package.
“The partnership with POC will be inspiring and fruitful. Both of our companies have a strong emphasis on safety and protection. POC can inspire us to make safety an emotional experience and to create even more desirable cars,” concludes Thomas Ingenlath.
Volvo Announces December and 2013 Full Year Sales
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Jan. 3, 2014) - Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) remained Volvo Cars’ largest market for 2013 at 61,233, just nudging out its China operation. The S60 sports sedan and XC60 crossover were the two best sellers for the year, with 23,210 and 19,766 units sold respectively. Volvo Car Corporation remains committed to growing its position in the U.S. and anticipates sales in 2014 will bolster that position with the introduction of the new Drive-E engine family with best-in-class fuel economy, along with the launch of the highly-anticipated V60 sportswagon.
Volvo reported December U.S. sales of 4,888 units, a 20.5 percent decrease from December 2012, due to a planned strategy to move away from fleet and focus on retail sales. Sales from the previous December were impacted by the replacement of vehicles lost in Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, VCNA first launched its captive finance arm, Volvo Car Financial Services, on Dec. 1, 2012 which benefited from pent-up demand for consumer financing. For the full year, U.S. sales are down 10.1 percent versus 2012, with planned growth in 2014.