Volvo Cars launches the Pure Tension pavilion in Milan, Italy
Volvo Cars introduces the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid in Italy – and launches the car together with the “Pure Tension pavilion”. The pavilion – a spectacular free-standing tensioned membrane structure – is a rapidly deployable and portable solar charging station for the world-first Diesel Plug-in Hybrid. “Pure Tension pavilion” is the winning project resulting from a competition for architects and designers held in May and commissioned by Volvo Car Italia. The Pure Tension charging station together with the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will now be part of a road-show through Italy’s biggest cities.
The “Pure Tension pavilion” was shown for the first time at an event in Milan to mark the official launch of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid in Italy. This May Volvo Car Italia in collaboration with the magazine for Architecture and Technologies “The Plan” organized a competition for architects and designers to create a pavilion for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The contest received over 150 entries from all over the world.
The winning structure was created by Alvin Huang's Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), with offices in Los Angeles and London. Following SDA's competition win, the project entered the production phase during the summer. The structure took shape between July and September in Chicago under the care of Fabric Images, a company specialized in this type of design creation. Its final assembly and first functional testing took place in October in Bologna, close to the head offices of Volvo Car Italia.
Portable solar charging station
With its strong visual impact, the “Pure Tension pavilion” conveys a complete sense of absolute mobility, demonstrating flexibility and efficiency through Volvo Cars' hybrid technology. The pavilion is a flexible mesh structure held in place by carbon fibre rods and is embedded with photovoltaic cells so that it can absorb energy from the sun or indoor lighting. The car will ‘plug’ directly into the pavilion’s skin, charging its battery with the energy collected over the day.
Given its highly innovative nature, Pure Tension has directed significant interest towards the Volvo Car Group, and more precisely to the Volvo Monitoring & Concept Center (VMCC). Based in Camarillo, California, the center assesses all elements of Pure Tension's future potential (including the cars, infrastructure and technological prerequisites that it would need to function in).
Michele Crisci, President of Volvo Car Italia, eloquently summarises: "We have rewarded an idea that is fantastic, simple and at the same time highly sophisticated from a creative point of view. I expected a project that was able to convey what is fundamentally Volvo Cars, which in addition to safety, means quality, environmental sustainability, functionality and making technology available to everyone. In this, we have it all. And to see it brought to reality increases the buzz that the initial idea generated even further."
An innovative mindset
Alvin Huang, founder of Synthesis Design + Architecture and an award-winning architect, designer and lecturer says: "We are thrilled to have had the chance to see our winning project come to light thanks to Volvo Car Italia. We have also been lucky enough to work with really talented and motivated partners and suppliers who believed in the project right from the beginning: companies like Fabric Images, where the structure physically took shape, FTL Solar and Ascent Solar Technologies who took care of the solar panels, and Seam Design and IGuzzini with the lights. The creation of ‘’Pure Tension’ is proof of how modern and innovative Volvo Cars’ mindset is. The Pure Tension pavilion demonstrates performance, form and technology, just like the new Volvo cars. The structure also anticipates a vision of the future of electric recharging — the car doesn't go in search of it, instead it goes where the car goes."
The Volvo “Pure Tension pavilion” is an experimental creation and demonstrates possible future methods to provide sustainable power to electric cars. The “Pure Tension pavilion” is not planned to be put into production in the near future.
Volvo Car Group’s new connectivity system receives Red Dot Design Award
A jury of international designers and design experts has awarded Volvo Car Group’s new connectivity system Sensus Connected Touch the prestigious 2013 Red Dot Design Award. Sensus Connected Touch gives the Volvo owner outstanding possibilities, including the world’s first voice-activated Spotify connection integrated in a car.
“Our connectivity solutions are designed to make driving more enjoyable and safe. The Red Dot Design Award confirms that this approach to an intuitive, human-centric user experience fulfils modern car owners’ desire to remain constantly connected also when driving,” says Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group. He adds: “The introduction of Sensus Connected Touch paves the way for the large, factory-fitted portrait touch screen that will be part of the infotainment package in the all-new XC90 in 2014.”
Available for new and used Volvos
Sensus Connected Touch is a dealer-fitted accessory that can be fitted in most versions of the Volvo V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80. It can also be retrofitted in used Volvo cars from model year 2011 and onwards that have the Sensus infotainment system with a 7-inch display.
The system turns the integrated 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves.
To offer the user maximum flexibility, the system can be operated via the touch screen, the steering wheel or the centre stack controls. On top of this, all music sources can also be voice-activated.
“You can play the music track you want just by saying its name. This, combined with an effective voice-activation, an intuitive user interface, a very fast Internet browser and a wide choice of around 20 functions and apps make Sensus Connected Touch outstanding compared with solutions from our main competitors,” says Alain Visser.
Connection is made either via a car-mounted 3G/4G-dongle or via the driver’s mobile phone. Internet data is transferred via Wi-Fi between the mobile phone and the Sensus Connected Touch. It is also possible to share a Wi-Fi network with everyone in the car when using the dongle.
The Red Dot Award
The Red Dot is established internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for good design. Well-known designers and design experts from across the globe are handpicked to guarantee as much objectivity as possible in the selection of the winning products. The Red Dot Design Award breaks down into different disciplines: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept.
Washington DC hosts leading industry forum on the safety benefits of connected cars
Volvo Car Group puts consumers at the heart of the Connected Car debate
Leading officials and automotive experts gathered in Washington, DC on Thursday to discuss “The Safety Benefits of Connected Cars”. Hosted by the Embassy of Sweden and Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars), the seminar explored the safety advantages of connected vehicles and the challenges faced by an industry keen to align on a vision for driverless cars. Subjects such as cyber security, legislation, infrastructure and environmental implications dominated the session and attracted an audience keen to debate the future of a technology that has grabbed the attention of drivers around the world.
Enabling vehicles to communicate with each other as well as with highway infrastructure opens up fantastic possibilities that allows information to be shared and exchanged – creating a more comfortable, environmentally friendly and safer drive. Information such as temporary road blocks, crash disturbances and approaching emergency vehicles can help drivers make more informed driving decisions with the support of this consumer centric technology.
During the debate, Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Cars, said: “The Connected Car technology will be developed step by step in an evolutionary process so sensors will have to improve, connectivity has to be available, and cars need to be able to talk to each other as well as infrastructure”. Mertens added: “It is very important that we focus on the consumer and ensure he/she is at the centre of all of our activities, the Volvo way - Designed Around You. By doing this, we expect customers to rapidly embrace connected car solutions in the future.”
Volvo Cars believes that Connected Car technologies are an important part of its ambition to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries. These technologies further support Volvo Cars’ vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by the year 2020.
- Over 90 percent of all crashes in the U.S. are a result of driver error
- 6% of all accidents and 3% of all fatalities are caused by slippery road conditions
- 10% cent of all traffic fatalities at intersections are the result of red-light violations
Volvo Cars also conducted the first ever demonstration in the US of Adaptive Cruise Control with Steer Assist in real traffic conditions, a technology that paves the way for full autonomous driving . At the push of a button, the technology automatically follows the preceding vehicle in slow-moving lines of traffic traveling at speeds of under 31mph. Radar sensors and a camera help to automatically maintain a set distance with the vehicle in front and steers the car to keep it within its lane.
The Connected Car technology is further enhanced by two partnerships Volvo Cars has entered into to develop driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. Volvo Cars has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to evaluate ways to measure the state of a driver and analyse drowsiness, workload, stress levels and heart conditions. In addition, a partnership with the Californian based company HERE (formerly known as NAVTEQ), is being explored to evaluate the best way of finding efficient map data for autonomous driving applications, an essential component for the advancement of autonomous driving.