Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Volvo Cars, Brent Co | posted November 20, 2015 09:54
Volvo changes the way we ride with Concept 26
If and when autonomous cars become all the rage, you may just want hours in traffic inside this new Volvo Cars concept.
Sans an engine, transmission, tires or even a shell of a body, Volvo Cars pulled the covers off of the latest concept that concentrates solely on the driver’s welfare and well-being rather than aspects like horsepower and torque.
Called Concept 26, the number referring to the average number of minutes an American spends inside a vehicle, is an interior design concept for autonomous vehicles that provides three seating configurations that will cater to the driver’s need.
“Volvo Concept 26 addresses the notion that driving can still be fun and liberating on the right day and on the right road but that some parts of driving, notably the daily commute in many metro areas, is stressful, frustrating and even broken. By providing drivers the choice of when to drive or delegate driving, we are able to retain the love and freedom of the open road while fixing the broken commute,” said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, General Manager of the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center.
Based on research that claims driver’s can use the commute time to be more productive, Volvo has dubbed Concept 26 as a ‘time machine.’
The whole concept is based on a patented and innovative new seat design that ‘cradles the driver at all times,’ even through the transformation between the three seating modes that works together with a tablet interface in the center console, a foldable tray table and a 25-inch flat-screen monitor that flips up from the passenger side dashboard.
Drive mode optimizes the driving experience by minimizing distraction and gives the driver full manual control of the vehicle.
‘Create’ can be activated if the driver wishes for the vehicle’s autonomous system to take control. It comes with various configurations that include having a table and screens that will allow the driver to read a book, finish office work or watch online content.
‘Relax’ reclines the seat allowing the driver to rest while the mounted screen suggests content to listen to or watch.
Volvo Cars is currently working with several partners to create more content and third-party device integration to enhance the Concept 26 experience.
Concept 26 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), a platform that is already in use several current Volvo products.
“Volvo’s development of the Scalable Product Architecture allows us to innovate and quickly bring concepts to production when the market is ready. Volvo Concept 26 is a clear step towards rethinking how people want to use their cars today and in the future,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America,