Volvo has given a glimpse into their idea of the car of the future. At the LA Auto Show they debuted what they're calling Concept 26. The 26 comes from the average commute time in minutes for people in the US.
They believe, probably like many commuters, that commuting is sucking the joy out of driving so Concept 26 lets drivers make a choice—they can choose to drive or, if it's the daily commute or a long-haul journey, they can delegate the driving over to the car.
“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." said Robin Page, Vice President of Interior Design at Volvo Cars. "Autonomous drive will make all of this possible. This is what Concept 26 has captured by reimagining the entire car experience.”
The concept is based around a special patented seat design which changes depending on what mode you've chosen to drive in. There's Drive, Create or Relax and the seat changes accordingly, reclining with a large display emerging when the self-drive mode is initiated so the driver can chill the hell out and watch a movie or whatever.
“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,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.
Volvo Cars’ have an ongoing research project called Drive Me which will put an extended fleet of fully autonomous cars, with actual customers in them, on the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017 to show how safe their self-driving cars are.
“Volvo Cars is among the first to address the subject of self-driving cars and liability. We firmly believes that car makers should take full responsibility for the actions of the car when it is driving in full autonomous mode. If a manufacturer does not accept liability it clearly implies that they are not confident about their autonomous drive technology,” said Dr Peter Mertens.