Volvo develops media systems for self-driving cars

Volvo develops media systems for self-driving cars

With autonomous driving technologies being developed by a number of different companies, some engineers are beginning to look at the amenities that will make the systems more useful.

Volvo has announced that it is working with its technology partner Ericsson to try and let drivers get the most out of handing over control of their car to the on-board autonomous systems.

Having unveiled its Concept 26 vision towards the end of 2015, Volvo is delving deeper into the user experience by investigating and developing technologies to do with the car's wireless internet connection.

One of the most crucial elements of an autonomous vehicle's usefulness is its ability to connect to servers and share information - whether that is to do with traffic, potential hazards or navigation. Because of this, a consistent and high-bandwidth connection is required, something that will benefit the passengers too.

Volvo is looking at making the most of that mobile coverage by bringing the comforts of people's living rooms to the car. For example, if the driver wanted to watch a TV show, they would be able to stream it to their car to watch en route.

Not only that but the car's navigation systems would be able tailor the route taken to enable the passengers to watch the whole show. This is helped by the car's connection to be able to work around current traffic conditions and to make sure it remains within range of masts to make for uninterrupted coverage.

Volvo plans for its cars to learn the most common routes and the users' preferences to make one-click navigation an option for drivers, allowing owners to choose routes and select content tailored to the amount of autonomous time available during the drive.

"We recently unveiled our design vision for fully autonomous cars with Concept 26. Now we are actively working on future solutions to deliver the best user experience in fully autonomous mode. Imagine a highway full of autonomous cars with their occupants sitting back watching their favourite TV shows in high definition. This new way of commuting will demand new technology and a much broader bandwidth to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience," said Anders Tylman, General Manager Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center at Volvo Car Group.

"If you want to watch the latest episode of your favourite series, the car will know how long the journey needs to take and can optimise the route and driving control accordingly. With autonomous drive it is no longer just a question of getting from A to B quickly – it's about the experience you wish to have in the car, how you wish to spend the time you are saving. With our future autonomous drive technology we will provide people with the freedom to choose the way they would like to commute and the content they would like to experience."

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:4th Jan 2016

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