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It has a touch-screen panel replacing most of the traditional knobs, dials and switches, and a head-up display and thumb controls on the steering wheel so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.
Like us, Volvo recognises that car safety means people have to put down their smartphones while driving, and so all the information and entertainment services you might need are embedded into the in-dash system, called Sensus.
“Smooth interaction without distraction has been the guiding expression for our designers and engineers. The in-car control system is designed to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel as much as possible,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s Design SVP.
The system allows the option for Apple iOS devices to be mirrored and controlled from the dashboard panel, using the company’s CarPlay interface, giving drivers even less reason to pick up their handset and divert their attention from the road.
But an iPhone isn’t a necessary requirement, or even necessarily the best option. Drivers have a choice between using their phone with the car, or using the embedded system, which offers seamless integration, tailored to this particular model, and with extensive navigation and entertainment options. There’s more on the benefits of embedded systems here.
Maps and navigation in Sensus on the Volvo XC90 will leverage HERE services, of course, with new maps and navigation apps that automatically receive incremental updates over the air when the maps are refreshed or added to. Like other HERE apps, the maps are loaded onboard and navigation continues to work without a 3G signal, so you won’t get lost as soon as you venture away from radio masts.
The maps for these new apps are built to the emerging Navigation Data Standard, an industry alliance to make navigation systems interoperable between different service providers. This is a first for us, and though the difference may not be noticeable for end users, it will make it easier for different providers to mesh their services together moving forward.
But already, HERE provides much of the software ‘glue’ to bind together other services that are offered through Sensus. These will vary by region, but the overall picture is the same.
The local search app will use the HERE Places API. And the Stitcher Radio app uses HERE geolocation services to offer relevant local stations.
A world-first, the embedded Park&Pay app – it finds local parking and lets you pay for your ticket through the app - uses the HERE Places API to seek out nearby parking garages. While the Yelp app will use our geocoding and maps to show you to great local places to visit or eat.
Lastly, the Volvo OnCall app for Android and iOS, which acts as a mobile companion for the system, leverages HERE geocoding, Places and Mapping APIs to keep you and your car located when you’re outside the vehicle. And when you’re planning at home where to go, you can send the destination to your Volvo by using the ‘send-to-car’ feature on here.com
Do you welcome the rise of the digital dashboard? Let us know in the comments.
press release: Volvo