The future of Swedish autonomous motoring is here, and it looks like…
Well, it looks like a La-Z-Boy, a steering wheel, an iPad and a widescreen television set.
That’s all Volvo brought to the LA Show, but it’s nevertheless an interesting look at what autonomous driving will look like for Volvo going forward. Unlike many other manufacturers that are working with this tech, Volvo is starting from the inside, and working outwards.
We often see the seats in Volvo models referred to as “chairs” as opposed to seats, and that really is the case with the item you see here. Basically, it can recline – yes, La-Z-Boy style – to let the driver relax as the car drives (ostensibly) itself; the self-driving system is activated by tugging on the wheel-mounted paddles. Once that’s done (again, ostensibly), the steering wheel retracts, the car takes over and the driver can either rest, or do something else.
Which is where both the widescreen and the iPad-like control pad come in, as they essentially help the car become a mobile office.
It’s interesting because while we’ve seen all sorts of autonomous drivers on track from the outside, seeing what could be a properly integrated autonomous interior adds a bit of tangibility to the Concept 26, even if it’s all we see of it.
As of right now, this is just a development hack – according to Volvo, it has not yet been installed in a rolling chassis of any kind – but don’t mistake that for Volvo being cavalier; they are taking their self-driving tech seriously, going as far as to launch a fleet of self-driving XC90 testbeds over the next two years.