By Zahra Al-Kateb
Driverless cars could become the norm sooner than we think, thanks to Volvo’s latest concept design.
Concept 26 – named after the average daily commute to work of 26 minutes – is an autonomous concept vehicle that sets out to bring choice and freedom back to the driver by allowing them to delegate the driving to the car while they want to do something else.
Robin Page, Vice President of Interior Design at Volvo Cars said: “It’s all about people. Our research clearly shows that some people will want to use their commuting time creatively when they have full autonomous drive available, while others will want to just sit back and relax, watch online media or listen to music. Autonomous drive will make all of this possible. This is what Concept 26 has captured by reimagining the entire car experience.”
When the driver wishes to delegate driving to the car, the steering wheel retracts, the seat reclines and a large display emerges from the dashboard which allows the driver to enjoy their time spent in the car however they like.
Embracing the need for radical change of the basic design of traditional car interiors, Concept 26 offers a new paradigm of possibilities in the car using technology that is now a part of our everyday lives.
“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,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.
Thanks to Volvo’s ongoing Drive Me research project, Volvo expects to see an extended fleet of autonomous cars driving customers on the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden by 2017.