Volvo has unveiled its near-future vision of driverless cars, which could be a reality on our roads in the next few years.
The manufacturer’s Concept 26 visualisations are based on the idea that the average commute – in the US at least – is 26 minutes.
“Drive, Create or Relax”
The interior has been designed around three modes of travel, “Drive, Create or Relax.”
Volvo says that drivers may wish to “delegate driving to the car” during commutes or long motorway drives.
At this point the steering wheel would retract, the seat recline and a large display screen emerge from the dashboard.
Testing in 2017
As with other driverless concepts Volvo is touting the business, entertainment and communication opportunities but the company is also hinting that the concept may be escalated relatively quickly.
Senior vice president research and development at Volvo Car Group Dr Peter Mertens says: “We have gone to great lengths to understand the challenges and opportunities that autonomous cars will bring to people in coming years and our flexible approach to engineering and design, enabled by our new Scalable Product Architecture, means that we can readily bring this from concept to reality.”
Fully autonomous driverless Volvos based on the look and feel of current models will be tested in Gothenburg in 2017 with “real customers” Volvo says.
Volvo and Microsoft
Meanwhile Volvo is working with Microsoft to explore using the computing giant’s Hololens virtual reality product in both showroom and factory environments.