Sensus Connect redefines ‘connected car’
Volvo Cars wins prestigious Telematics Update Car Maker of the Year Award
- Intuitive and user-friendly ‘tile-based’ user interface
- Cloud-based applications for music streaming and other services with integrated look and feel
Volvo Cars’ innovative work in the field of connected car and cloud technology has been recognised with the prestigious Car Maker of the Year Award from Telematics Update. The award was presented on June 2, at the Telematics Update Automotive Congress in Detroit.
With the launch of the new XC90, Volvo Cars has completely re-conceived the way drivers operate their car by dispensing with the normal array of buttons and replacing them with a large tablet-like touch screen, a heads-up display, voice control and thumb controls on the steering wheel.
“We take the best available technology and make it work in the most useful way for our customers. It’s about using technology to provide tangible real-life benefits, rather than providing technology just for the sake of it. The car industry is on the verge of massive changes in this respect, and Volvo Cars is at the vanguard of this in-car technology revolution,” said Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President & CIO at Volvo Car Group, as he collected the coveted award.
New features in the Sensus Connect solution offer a broad selection of cloud-based applications with an integrated look and feel. Available applications, which vary by market, include Internet radio, real-time location sharing, finding and paying for parking and discovering new restaurants or local attractions. Volvo Cars can also now suggest and book a time for car service when it is required with the Connected Service Booking application.
Apart from offering integrated, cloud-based applications, Sensus Connect will also offer Apple CarPlay, and at a later stage Android Auto, bringing familiar phone-based applications into the Volvo car interface. Such applications will include phone, messaging, music and navigation to begin with.
Volvo On Call
In addition to providing one of the most advanced in-car control and infotainment systems, Volvo Cars’ Sensus Connect also allows remote control of some key car features, such a setting precondition timings to heat up or cool down the car, sending destinations to the navigation system, locking and unlocking the doors and much more with its dedicated smart-phone application, Volvo On Call.
“Volvo Cars’ aims to constantly innovate and pioneer in the field of the connected car. Our vision is that cars will not only communicate with their drivers, but also with other vehicles and eventually broader society. By sharing and receiving relevant road safety data, for example, Volvo cars could, in the very near future, help to improve the safety of other road users while at the same time helping to streamline traffic flow and reduce emissions and eventually infrastructure costs,” concluded Klas Bendrik.
Control your Volvo car from your Apple Watch
Volvo Cars is set to release an updated version of its ground-breaking Volvo On Call smart app, delivering seamless connectivity with wearables such as the Apple Watch and Android Wear. This will effectively allow Volvo drivers with the Volvo On Call app to control settings, lock/unlock, locate and utilise many other Volvo services from their wrist.
“Volvo On Call is an app that allows you to literally take control over everyday elements in your Volvo. You can set heater timings for those cold and frosty mornings or cool down your car in hot weather, check your fuel level and mileage, or time to next service. It even helps you to locate your car in a crowded parking garage,” explains David Holecek, Director Connected Products and Services at Volvo Cars.
Volvo On Call’s new functionality includes wearable connectivity for devices such as the Apple Watch, a full iPad user interface, Android Wear and a unified Windows Phone app with voice control through Cortana, an intelligent assistant system, amongst others. The update, which will also see the addition of enhanced ‘send-to-car’ capabilities for navigation purposes, is due to be released end of June.
Apart from adding new functionality, the Volvo On Call app has received a brand new design based on Volvo Cars’ celebrated Sensus driver interface in the new Volvo XC90.
Launched in 2001, Volvo On Call became one of the first car-based telematics systems in the world, providing both safety, security and tracking services in the car in case of accident, breakdown or theft using a car-installed SIM card. The system still provides the original safety functions – activated when the car’s airbags are deployed, or when the driver needs assistance, putting them in direct contact with a Volvo On Call operator, who, using GPS technology, can direct emergency services to the scene of the incident.
In recent years the application’s importance and geographic spread has increased exponentially, to include convenience features such as remote locking, fuel level indicators, find my car and remote locking on top of the leading safety and security services that it was originally launched to deliver.
“In only a few years we have moved from a safety and security related in-car feature to a solution that allows the driver to stay connected with their car and provides many new benefits to support their everyday requirements,” concluded Sofia Wessman, Manager Volvo On Call at Volvo Cars.
Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) was restored to the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Wednesday, nearly six months to the day when the boat ran aground, setting off a story of team-work, determination and sheer hard work to return the crew to the start line in Lisbon (full story below).
- Team Vestas Wind defy the odds to rejoin the fleet
- Skipper Nicholson: Now we'll finish what we started
- Backers applaud team effort behind rebuild
- How Team Vestas Wind was put back together
LISBON, Portugal, May 27 – Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) was restored to the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Wednesday, nearly six months to the day when the boat ran aground, setting off a story of team-work, determination and sheer hard work to return the crew to the start line in Lisbon.
Many experienced observers of the 41-year-old race had feared there was no way back for the Danish team in the race’s 12th edition when the Vestas Wind ran aground on the Cargados Carajos shoals in the Indian Ocean during Leg 2 on November 29.
The collision caused heartbreaking, extensive damage to the beautiful blue boat.
But the doubters would have underestimated the combined efforts of an expert team assembled by Vestas and race organisers, who have managed to rebuild the shattered Volvo Ocean 65 boat to the strict one-design demands of the race in four months – half the time it would normally take to build the boat.
The bulk of the work has been carried out by the Persico Marine boatyard in Bergamo, Italy.
On Saturday, May 22, the boat left the Persico yard and embarked on a land and sea journey to Lisbon, with the help of Maersk Line and GAC, where she arrived in the small hours of Wednesday morning, ahead of schedule.
In the final stages of her journey before arriving in the Portuguese capital, the boat was transported just over 50 kilometres by road, crossing the Vasco de Gama Bridge (the largest bridge in Europe) across the Tagus River.
Final preparations, including the reassembly of the keel and rig, are now underway. The team is preparing to return to the water for the first time on Saturday ahead of the long weekend of racing (June 4-7), which includes the Lisbon In-Port Race on June 6 and Leg 8 departure for Lorient, France, the following day.
“We’ve been waiting for this day to arrive for some time. It’s a testament to all involved in the rebuild to have the boat and team almost back in race mode,” said Team Vestas Wind’s Australian skipper, Chris Nicholson.
“It’s a true story of coming together to make things work, and we’re all motivated and in good shape to get back out on the water and finish what we started. These extra days’ preparations will help us become as competitive as we can be for the in-port and final legs of the Race.”
Commercial Director of Team Vestas Wind and Vice President of Global Marketing at Vestas, Mirella Vitale, added: “It’s a great achievement for Vestas and Team Vestas Wind to be where we are today.
“We’ve lived a different race than we originally envisioned, but we knew that our story could not end on that reef. We thank our fellow teams for their generosity and sportsmanship by providing seats for our guests on their boats while our boat was being repaired.“
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, applauded all the combined efforts that have ensured Team Vestas Wind are back in business for the final legs to Lorient and then to Gothenburg, via a pit-stop in The Hague.
“It has been an incredible display of teamwork to return Vestas Wind to the start-line despite all the many obstacles along the way,” he said.
“Seeing Chris and the guys on the start-line for Leg 8 will be one of most memorable and proudest moments I have experienced in seven years as Race CEO,” he said.
Patrick Lammers, member of the retail board RWE, parent company of sub sponsor Powerhouse, added: "In order to be able to appear at the start in Lisbon, everyone involved has given their utmost.
“This was the ultimate race in a race, where no one thought of giving up. As a sponsor, Powerhouse could not have wished for a better team and partners. With this success, they truly carried out what we stand for.”