Volvo’s Forward Thinkers
Connectivity. Safety. Sustainability. These are just some of the areas where Volvo Cars has long been at the forefront of innovation in the automotive industry.
Staying there requires analysis of trends and changes in society as they develop – predicting the ever-changing demands of drivers and identifying how they can improve the cars of the future.
I Roll talks to the team of experts responsible for this crystal-ball gazing, which is collectively known as Volvo Cars Marketing Intelligence.
THE FUTURE OF OWNERSHIP
One of the areas trend-spotters are most excited about is subscription.
"Subscription appeals to modern drivers because it’s all about peace of mind,” says the Marketing Intelligence team. “You subscribe to a car and a set of services, and straight away you have just about everything you need to get on the road. The combination of product and service makes life easier.”
Volvo Cars already has its own subscription service in Care by Volvo (under consideration for Australia), but subscription services in general are set to expand in ever-more innovative and exciting new directions.
“It looks like we’ll start to see more curated, customised subscriptions emerging. This might mean that subscription could be a way to answer your individual expectations, and, as it develops, we’ll be able to use it to enrich our lives way more than merely owning something could.”
Another highlighted trend has been the increasingly complex and intriguing ways we’ll connect to our technology – and how our cars will communicate with each other.
“In a digital world, the car is becoming a truly digital object,” says the team. “Given that a car is already a highly technical object in itself, it has to at least welcome, and work with, your own digital identity. And in the coming years it will become a platform: one which will help you in your life, optimise it, or enhance it.”
Because of this, the work carried out by Market Intelligence includes analysing the ways in which we will connect with our vehicles.
“Connectivity is a key component in this system – the car is connected to the environment, and it's also an object connected to a smart system, making the most of all of the information that is available.”
They’re also analysing the way in which we think about the act of interacting with the vehicle itself – something which becomes even more important as the systems develop and become more complex and useful.
And what about the most unexpected of tomorrow's trends – namely, disconnecting? People are finding ways to break their ties with technology for short periods of time, to focus on the offline, “analogue” world we live in. Can a connected Volvo offer this kind of sanctuary, too?
This is something the team has tuned in to.
“There are moments when you want to drive your car, but there are also moments when you want to interact with it. There might also be moments when you just want to get inside your own luxurious private bubble. So, among other things, we can look at ways to increase comfort, and explore how developing the design of the car's interior can turn your time inside it into real quality time.”
It also has an obvious impact on your well-being – another mega-trend that’s shaping society. So, health is also something the team focuses on, in ways more fundamental to Volvo Cars’ heritage than you might expect.
“Well-being has been a massive driver of change throughout society. This has started to translate to the automotive world. What’s more, well-being and care are also parts of the Scandinavian approach, as well as being fundamental to mobility, and the Volvo core value of safety – the first thing you need for a safe driving experience is to preserve your well-being.
“People are complex individuals, each looking for different experiences within mobility. Some need efficiency at certain points in the day and total relaxation at others: and achieving these things can make you happier and more relaxed. As a result, your Volvo will become part of the wellness ecosystem, helping to provide solutions.”
Changing trends in society are going to change what we want and expect from our cars. We want technology that can keep up with us – we don’t want to wait for or adapt to it. So the Market Intelligence team does a very important job – keeping track of the trends, talking about them, and letting the rest of the people who put your car together know what drivers will soon be expecting.
Our world is developing fast. But as a Volvo driver, you can rest assured that Volvo Cars has teams of passionate people dedicated to ensuring that you and your car will continue to benefit from the latest trends and technological advances – both now and in the future.
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