Concept 26 – the luxury of time
Unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Concept 26 is named after the length of time that drivers spend, on average, on their daily commute. Research by Volvo Cars suggests that, for many people, the journey to and from work and – long-haul motorway trips – are the times when they would be most willing to delegate driving to an autonomous car.
Concept 26 was developed to show how the cabin of a self-driving Volvo could allow this time to be spent in a meaningful way. It also demonstrates how autonomous technology will create a new type of luxury experience.
Robin Page, vice president of interior design at Volvo Cars, said: “It’s all about people. Our research clearly shows that some people will want to use their commuting time creatively when they have full autonomous drive available, while others will want to just sit back and relax, watch online media or listen to music. Autonomous drive will make all of this possible. This is what Concept 26 has captured by reimagining the entire car experience.”
Based on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform that underpins the new XC90, the C26 has a radical interior that combines beautiful Scandinavian design with cutting-edge technology.
At the heart of it is a patented seat design that actively cradles the driver for maximum comfort, whether they are driving or doing other things. When the driver chooses to delegate driving to the car, the steering wheel can be retracted and the seat reclined to make the most of the available space. A foldable tray table provides extra work or leisure space, while a 25-inch media screen flips up from the passenger side of the dashboard to provide entertainment and information.
Concept 26 offers three modes to optimize the interior according to the driver’s needs: Drive, Create and Relax.
Drive mode minimises distraction when the car is driven manually, providing a pure driving experience. Create mode allows the seat, table and display screens to be configured in different ways to support work or recreational activities. In Relax mode the seat adopts a supportive, reclined position, allowing the driver to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Concept 26 highlights the huge potential that autonomous technology has to improve people’s lives, as well as Volvo Cars’ status as a pioneer in this area. Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Group, said: “We have gone to great lengths to understand the challenges and opportunities that autonomous cars will bring to people in coming years, and our flexible approach to engineering and design, enabled by our new Scalable Product Architecture, means that we can readily bring this from concept to reality.”
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