- More work possible while on the move
- Volvo teams up with Skype Mobile and Ericsson
- System creates a conference room on wheels
MALMO, Sweden – Volvo is adding Skype for Business to its new 90 Series and so claims to be the first automaker to launch such an in-car productivity tool.
Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, Volvo Group’s vice-president for consumer connectivity, told The Corner in a media release: “We’ve all been there… sitting in a car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble or drop your phone while trying to connect or forget the long pin code to join.
“It’s not the best way to start an important call from your car and your attention is not where it should be – on the road. Skype for Business makes all that goes away.”
VIEW MEETING SCHEDULES, PARTICIPANTS
However, we say, after watching the video below, the handsome lady driver seems to spend a lot of time with her eyes on the centre console…
Whatever… people in a Volvo’s 90 will be able to view upcoming meetings and participants’ details and join meetings with one click. The Corner still asks how safe it is to keep looking down at the console and away from the road.
The Volvo VP adds: “Skype for Business is another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer. We see, with the dawn of autonomous cars, a future in which flexible in-car productivity tools will enable people to spend less time in an office. This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in a car.”
Volvo’s partnership with Microsoft includes the exploration of using Cortana, Microsoft’s chatty personal assistant, o add voice recognition and “contextual insights to support peoples’ daily lives” by predicting their needs. Swedish mobile company Ericsson is also involved.
PROGRESS THROUGH YEARS
Ben Canning, Microsoft’s Skype product manager, said: “Volvo Cars is leading the way in recognising that ‘work’ is becoming more mobile. People need to be productive from anywhere.”
Tylman-Mikiewicz again: “Volvo has been working for years on in-car communication. From the built-in handsets of the 1980’s and early 90’s through to our standard Bluetooth hands-free functionality, we have understood the importance of making life easier for people on the move while keeping a firm focus on safety and minimising driver distraction.”