Solving society’s riddles
Volvo Cars takes a hands-on approach to in-car innovations.
Great ideas come from within
When Volvo Cars presented its inflatable child seat concept to the public a couple of years ago, its innovative design gained international recognition. This compact little creation weighed a mere five kilos, was capable of self-inflating in less than forty seconds and could fit neatly inside a normal-sized rucksack when not in use. The inflatable child seat concept is just one of many successful innovations to have come from Karin André and the team at the Volvo Cars Corporate Innovation Office.
“We’re always curious and open to new ideas,” explains Karin. “We get a lot of information, and inspiration, from studying customer behaviour and the challenges facing society – both today and in the future. Most of our ideas, however, come from within. From our dedicated colleagues around the world.” In order to collect these ideas, Volvo Cars organises an annual global innovation week known officially as Innovation GiG – Global Idea Generation.
“We take society’s challenges and turn them into opportunities.”
Volvo Cars Corporate Innovation Office
The pleasure of problem solving
“Innovation GiG is all about collecting ideas from our different departments around the world. Thousands of people take part. And when it’s over, we usually have several hundred new ideas that we can take back to our labs and start working on. If we discover an idea with real potential, and which measures up to our demands, then we take it to the next stage of development.”
There are certain challenges, however, that Karin and the team at Corporate Innovations especially love trying to solve.
And the team have just started working on such a project. "The goal is to investigate and discover ways in which we can re-use materials and products that we no longer use in our cars," explains Karin.
It’s been said that when you're passionate about your work, it isn’t work at all. It’s a pleasure. And as Karin and her dedicated team start work on their next project, I’m sure they would agree. For the rest of us, the pleasure comes from seeing what they will come up with next.
Exploring the smart cities of the future
Today, smart cities, where information and communication technology integrate with everyday life to make it safer, simpler and more convenient are set to transform big city driving. Where does your Volvo fit into this brave new world?
Connectivity In Berlin
After travelling the world for 12 years, Cologne-born entrepreneur Gundula Cöllen decided it was time to return to Germany and reconnect with her homeland. And when it came to choosing a city in which to settle down in and start up a new business, she only had one place in mind – Berlin.
Our window to the world
Throughout history, the human eye has meant different things to different cultures. In ancient Egypt it was worshipped as a powerful symbol of good health and protection, during the Renaissance it represented vision and clarity, whereas the eye that graces today’s American dollar bill is designed to depict guidance and reassurance. But what about for those of us who worship at the altar of the automobile? What do our eyes mean to our enjoyment of our cars and can they really hold the key to a better life on the road?