Volvo 360c Exterior

Volvo 360c Concept Shows Swedish Brand’s Take On Autonomous Transport

The Volvo 360c showcases the Swedish carmaker’s vision for future autonomous vehicles. With four interior configurations, the car can become a commuter space, an office space, a VIP space, or a welcoming environment to be used as an alternative to domestic air travel.

Said to be a holistic view of future travel that is ‘autonomous, electric, connected and safe’, the concept capitalizes on the design freedom afforded by the absence of a steering wheel and a conventional powertrain and reimagines the passenger compartment. The 360c presents four potential uses of autonomous driving vehicles – a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space. It also introduces a proposal for a global standard in how autonomous vehicles can safely communicate with all other road users.

“The business will change in the coming years, and Volvo should lead that change of our industry,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Autonomous drive will allow us to take the next big step in safety, but also open up exciting new business models and allow consumers to spend time in the car doing what they want to do.”

More than 740 million travelers embarked on domestic flights within the United States last year, so the 360c represents a potentially lucrative competitor to short-haul air travel. Several busy domestic air routes, such as New York to Washington DC, Houston to Dallas and Los Angeles to San Diego, are more time-consuming by air than by car when including things such as travel to the airport, security checks and waiting times.

Beyond new potential customer groups for Volvo Cars’ business, the 360c also carries implications for the future of travel, city planning, infrastructure and modern society’s environmental footprint. It doesn’t just reimagine how people travel, but also looks at how people engage with friends and family while on the move, and how they can recapture time while travelling in the cities of the future.

“Autonomous vehicle concepts have a tendency to become a technology showcase instead of a vision of how people use it,” said Robin Page, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo Cars. “But Volvo is a human-centric brand. We focus on the daily lives of our customers and how we can make them better. The 360c is the next iteration of this approach.”

The 360c is a first yet deliberate step towards a broad discussion about the potential for autonomous driving technology to fundamentally change society in many ways.

“When the Wright brothers took to the skies in 1903, they did not have a clue about what modern air travel would look like,” said Mårten Levenstam, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Volvo Cars. “We do not know what the future of autonomous drive will hold, but it will have a profound impact on how people travel, how we design our cities and how we use infrastructure. We regard the 360c as a conversation starter, with more ideas and answers to come as we learn more.”


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