Volvo’s ‘intelligent’ answer to autonomous-car boredom (video)

HANDS OFF, EASE BACK: Volvo and Ericsson are working together to give drivers something to do while they're, er, to lazy to drive. image: Volvo
HANDS OFF, EASE BACK: Volvo and Ericsson are working together to give drivers something to do while they’re, er, feeling too lazy to drive. Image: Volvo

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Volvo Cars is looking ahead to when its commuters can sit back and enjoy free time in their car on the daily commute.

Volvo revealed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, that it was developing intelligent high-bandwidth streaming capabilities with Ericsson to let car occupants get the most out of their time in an autonomous (self-driving automatic)vehicle.

WATCH HOW IT WORKS: What to do if you’re too lazy to drive? Oh, yawn, let the car chose the route and my favourite serial. Video: Volvo and Ericsson

Anders Tylman, general manager Volvo’s Monitoring and Concept Centre, told The Corner in a media release: “We recently unveiled our design vision for fully autonomous cars. Now we’re working to deliver the best user experience in full autonomous mode. Imagine a highway full of self-driving cars whose occupants can relax and watch their favourite TV show in high-definition.

“Such commuting will demand new technology and much-broader bandwidth.”

Volvo says – in fact it’s kind of obvious, really – that self-driving cars will mean a huge shift in mobile internet demands. “Volvo and Ericsson believe this shift will result in an increased need for consistent high-bandwidth away from population centres. We want to deliver a high-quality, interruption-free, experience in moving cars.

“Content can be tailored to the duration of each trip and intelligently buffered to deliver uninterrupted viewing by predicting your route and looking ahead at network conditions.”

ONE-CLOCK SATNAV AND ANY VIDEO MEDIA

Volvo’s research shows 70% of mobile data will soon be for streaming video. Claes Herlitz, Ericsson’s head of auto services, explained: “This requires innovative connectivity, cloud, and analytics capable not only of serving multiple moving vehicles on a highway but also high-quality, uninterrupted video.”

By learning the most common routes and times of travel and knowing their passengers’ media preferences, Volvo says, its cars will provide one-click navigation and a preference-based list of potential media so customers can choose routes and select content suited to the expected time and duration of the drive.

Anders Tylman again: “If you want to watch the latest episode of your favourite series the car will know how long the journey needs to take and optimise the route. It’s no longer just a question of getting from A to B quickly – it’s also about the experience and how you wish to spend the time in the car.

“People will be able to choose how they want to commute and which video content they want to experience.”

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