LIVE FROM ERICSSON BUSINESS INNOVATION FORUM 2014, STOCKHOLM: Volvo sees autonomous driving as the ultimate goal for its work around connected car technology, the company’s CIO, Klas Bendrik, revealed today.
Bendrik said that in the long term, Volvo’s connected car strategy is “absolutely about autonomous driving”.
As part of this the company’s Drive Me project in Gothenburg in Sweden aims to have 100 autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2017.
One of the pillars of Volvo’s connected car strategy is giving customers time back to work or relax during journeys — something that will clearly be boosted by autonomous driving.
The second pillar of Volvo’s connected car strategy is the provision of services that make customers’ lives more convenient on an everyday basis.
The use of big data is one area the company is exploring to provide new services: “There is a lot of information that can be leveraged to add convenience to individuals on a daily basis,” Bendrik noted.
One possibility is to exploit the potential of the ‘digital key’ to enable temporary keys to be issued to delivery companies when delivering purchased items to the car itself, rather than an address.
Another catalyst for this push into connected cars is safety. Volvo is working on car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure to enable vehicles to communicate information about road conditions or mechanical issues.
“That is an area where we invest a lot of time and capabilities,” Bendrik said.
Currently, all new Volvo cars are equipped with technology that connects to a ‘vehicle cloud,’ enabling services such as audio streaming, the creation of wireless hotspots and parking information.
In addition, the Volvo on Call telematics systems makes automated calls in the event of a car breaking down.
Bendrik stressed the importance of collaboration in driving the development of connected car products, with Ericsson one of its technology partners.