5 life-simplifying Volvo technologies
It’s a core Volvo Cars philosophy to make lives easier and to make journeys more comfortable and enjoyable.
So not only are our cars designed around you, but so is our technology.
Here, I Roll provides a guide to five highly intuitive, technological features – covering areas from semi-autonomous driving to entertainment – that are available on Volvo vehicles to make life less complicated.
PARK ASSIST PILOT
Parking a car can be a tense occasion for some drivers. Will the car fit in the space? Can I squeeze it into the space without scraping another car or the kerb?
Park Assist Pilot takes such stress – and questions – away. Acting like a personal valet attendant, the system first calculates whether a parking space is large enough, and then operates the steering automatically to guide you into the space.
The driver simply controls the car’s speed via the brake and accelerator pedals, as well as the direction via the transmission’s Reverse or Drive.
Park Assist Pilot works for both parallel and perpendicular parking, with the instrument cluster providing text and animated guidance until the car is parked. The technology can also get you out of the parking space.
Volvos are designed to provide a driver with excellent all-round vision for optimum confidence on the road.
Ultimate visibility, however, is possible with the company’s 360-degree Surround View camera, which uses four concealed fish-eye cameras - one integrated into the front, one integrated in each of the door mirrors and one fitted above the rear number plate – to create a single-image, bird’s-eye view on the Volvo’s touchscreen display.
With an overview of the surrounding area, the technology makes a cinch of parking and low-speed manoeuvring in narrow places.
You even have the option of using the 360-degree view when engaging the rear-view camera, and to switch easily between the two depending on the type of situation.
The bird’s-eye view is available with guiding lines, while the camera can also aid the connection of your vehicle to a trailer by displaying an assist line graphic – which represents the towbar’s intended ‘path’ to the trailer.
A zooming function can be used for any of the surround-view system’s four cameras. Using the front camera, for example, can help drivers spot pedestrians when exiting a car park.
It can also help make scraped alloy wheels a thing of the past!
Stop-start traffic during commutes to work. Long drives to see family. However much we may enjoy driving, there are times when it is tiring – and even arduous.
Pilot Assist is a core part of Volvo’s semi-autonomous driving technologies that make life on the road more relaxing.
It removes the driver’s need to brake or accelerate in traffic, whether it’s at low speed (or even standstill) in congested traffic or at higher speeds on a freeway. The system uses the vehicle’s combination of radar and sensors to monitor the road ahead, adjusting the Volvo’s (driver-set) speed or distance to the vehicle ahead.
Pilot Assist can also reduce steering effort up to 130km/h by applying gentle steering inputs to help keep the car centred in its lane.
Drivers have the option to disengage the steering assistance to solely use the adaptive cruise control function, as well as reverting to standard cruise control.
Electrically operated tailgates have an element of convenience, though they still require a press of a key fob or the tailgate button.
If your hands are full with shopping bags, that’s no easy task. This is where Volvo’s hands-free tailgate steps in.
On vehicles equipped with keyless entry, it’s possible to access the boot with a simple, single foot movement under the rear bumper. The key fob merely needs to be in your pocket. The same action can also close the tailgate.
At the heart of Volvo’s Sensus infotainment technology is a 9-inch touchscreen. And its design has several advantages.
With physical buttons largely replaced by virtual buttons, the control centre not only creates a stylishly minimalist and uncluttered cabin but also ensures finding and using functions is a highly intuitive experience.
The virtual buttons, larger and easier to use than their physical equivalents, are responsive to the touch, while the touchscreen’s bold, clear graphics make it easy to absorb information at a glance.
The distinctive, portrait-format display also enables superior navigation guidance. It provides the driver with a broader view of the road ahead than the typical landscape-style display.
And accessing your favourite music couldn’t be easier. Stream songs via the Bluetooth connection, use the Spotify in-car app or internet radio, or even integrate your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Beyond accessing the music on your smartphone, you can make calls and receive/send messages. Your smartphone will also be charging when it’s plugged in.
Combined with the ability to operate several functions using voice commands, it ensures drivers can keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
Connecting you with your Volvo as well as your personal community, Sensus epitomises Volvo’s guiding principle: to make your life easier and more enjoyable.