2015 Los Angeles Auto Show has been abuzz with new concept cars from various auto makers. One of these concepts is the Volvo Concept 26 from Volvo Cars. Autonomy is at the center of the Volvo Concept 26’s design. It’s also very distinctive at its class, being the first autonomous car to be designed around an existing platform.
The product of extensive research that aimed to understand how people want to benefit from autonomous driving, the Volvo Concept 26 is an attempt to embody the findings of that study. There are several options available when it comes to the interiors of the car, all of them designed to capitalize on people’s expectations on autonomous cars.
Volvo Cars also combined these configurations with today’s technologies and trendy features. The result is a concept car that’s poised to give drivers a unique experience in driving as a whole.
According to Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, General Manager of the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center where R&D on the concept car was carried out, Volvo Concept 26 is designed to allow drivers to continue to experience the joys of driving on the open road while giving him or her options to deal with the stresses of daily commute, including traffic jams.
Tylman-Mikiewicz indicated that Concept 26 has always been about giving drivers the freedom to manage their time in the car according to their preferences. Instead of just being stuck in traffic without nothing else to do but to wait, Concept 26 will give drivers the environment and the means to make more meaningful use of that time instead of being idle.
Autonomous driving in traffic-congested areas could allow drivers, for instance, to catch up with work or prepare more for an upcoming meeting while the car handles the driving during rush hour in metropolitan areas.
The Concept 26 features a new seat design that has already been patented, and has three configurations that the driver can choose from. The interiors, which feature a tablet interface in the center console with a 25-inch flat screen monitor as well as a foldable tray table, physically change its configuration in response to the chosen mode.
The first, and default, mode is Drive. Drive lets you manually take control of the car for yourself, while the system works to minimize any distraction to you so you can fully experience the joys of driving. This is great for open roads.
Create mode is based on the results of Volvo’s research looking into what drivers want to do to maximize their team even while driving. When Concept 26 is configured for Create Mode, drivers can relegate the task of driving to the car.
They can then turn their attention to configuring the seat and dashboard to allow them to do certain tasks comfortably, like working on a project, reading emails or watching multimedia content. Of course, they retain overall control on the driving and can take over anytime.
The last mode is Relax, which Volvo has designed as an answer to people’s needs to reclaim time lost in traffic jams. In Relax mode, drivers can sit back and rest as the seat reclined into a comfortable setting.
The passenger dashboard screen will also suggest content that the driver can consume while relaxing. Finally, Relax mode does what its name suggests: allow the driver to just rest and do nothing while the ride progresses.
Volvo Concept 26 is, of course, still a work in progress. Volvo is currently hard at work in developing the concept with its existing partners. At the same time, it is also calling on potential partners to help out in finding ways to give drivers the best experience in any of the three modes in the concept car.
Concept 26 is indicative of Volvo’s commitment to keep people at the center of any technological research or advancements that it works on. More information about the concept car will be released by Volvo when they become available.
In the meantime, consumers can talk about autonomous driving and assist Volvo in the research and development by posting their views and opinions on the budding technology via www.futureofdriving.com.