The cars in the third decade of this century are also substituting as smartphones and extension of offices or homes. With unfolding innovations in technology and changing patterns in car usage and the climate-change consciousness, the automobile sector is embracing and innovating.
Volvo Cars is introducing a range of upgrades to its iconic XC60 mid-size SUV. The upgrades are a new Android-powered infotainment system with Google apps and services built-in. The intuitive infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalization and unparalleled connectivity with a brand-new digital services package. The XC60 features its latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), a scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. The model year 2022 of the XC60 will go into production by the end of May 2021.
Digital Service Package:
The digital services package of Volvo Cars’ XC60 includes Google apps and services such as hands-free help with Google Assistant, best-in-class navigation through Google Maps and native in-car apps via Google Play depending upon the market region. The customer, who signs up for a digital service package, gains access to all services offered in the package. All hardware needed to run the services already exists in the car, says a press release of Volvo Cars, and all data required is also included in the package depending on the market region, the point of purchase.
“Volvo Car Group is the first company to team up with Google on integrating an infotainment system powered by Android with Google apps and services built in, and after years of close development between the two companies, the fully electric XC40 Recharge became the first Volvo car to carry the system,” a press release informs. “This makes the XC60 the next step in a continuing rollout of Android-powered infotainment systems in Volvo cars, further improving the consistently popular SUV.”
XC60: World Car of the Year
Volvo Cars’ iconic model is the XC60, which was awarded ‘World Car of the Year’ title in 2018. In addition to gaining global awards, this car is lauded for its design and safety. It is also the top-flier of Volvo Cars for more than a decade and ‘has been ever-present in the top tier of one of the most competitive segments on the market’.
XC60 has been Volvo Cars’s top seller from January 2009 to December 2020, which accounts for over 1.68 million cars sold worldwide including XC60 generation I and II. In 2020, the XC60 reached almost 200,000 units sold and accounted for nearly 29 percent of Volvo Cars’ total sales.
Safety upgrades in XC60:
The XC60 now comes equipped with Volvo Cars’ latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which is a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors, and a sensor platform. The press release says, “This platform enables the development and deployment of active safety systems in the XC60, such as the detection of other road users, automatic braking and collision avoidance. It also allows for gentle driver support from standstill up to highway speeds, through the Pilot Assist function.”
“While major changes take place deep inside the XC60, the company’s designers have also made a number of subtle refinements to the exterior design, including a new grille, new front bumpers, and new exterior colour and wheel options,” says the press release. Reflecting the sentiments of the animal-rights activists, the car manufacturer introduces ‘luxurious leather-free options as well as the availability of the City Weave textile upholstery, offer further possibilities for personalisation.
Infotainment system with embedded or in-built Google:
Volvo Cars continues to roll out its new Android-powered infotainment system with Google built into the XC60, S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country models (from the model year 2022) as part of a broader update of its model portfolio. The infotainment system is developed with Google, which redefines the nature of infotainment in the car featuring a user-friendly interface and unparalleled connectivity.
“Volvo Car Group is the first company to team up with Google on integrating an infotainment system powered by Android with Google apps and services built in, and the fully electric XC40 Recharge became the first Volvo car to carry the system,” the press release says. The customers can have ‘the same experience that they are used to on their phones, but adapted for hands-free interaction while driving’.
Volvo Cars’ Digital Services package will be available for all its cars with the Android-powered infotainment system with Google apps and services built-in, depending upon the market region or the country of purchase. The Digital Services package includes access to Google apps and services, the Volvo On Call app and the wireless phone charger, as well as all data required to run the services depending on the market.
“Google apps and services enhance the functionality of the Android-powered system by providing hands-free help from Google Assistant, best-in-class navigation through Google Maps, and a broad ecosystem of native in-car apps via Google Play,” a press release informs. “With Google Assistant, drivers can use their voice to get things done while keeping their focus on the road. With these features, drivers can do things like control the temperature, set a destination, play music and podcasts, and send messages, all while keeping their hands on the wheel.”
Exclusively Online: Volvo XC40
Other portfolio updates include new exterior color and upholstery options as well as a leather-free interior option for all models in the 60-series including the XC40 Recharge. A press release by Volvo Cars says, “The model portfolio update comes as the company is also announcing that the fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge will be available exclusively online going forward, as part of Volvo Cars’ recently announced new commercial strategy.”
The fully electric XC40, the newly presented XC40 Recharge, will be available via the company’s flagship online store, volvocars.com. The website ‘will be overhauled to present customers with a simplified buying process, transparent pricing and a wide selection of pre-configured electric cars aimed at shortening delivery times’.
Volvo Cars aims to be a fully electric car company by 2030 with all-electric cars to be available online only in a convenient and simple way.
Volvo Cars is poised to bring out all pure electric cars with Recharge tyres as standard: The tyres for all year round use as the standard in Northern and Central Europe unlike changing the tyres according to the seasons of winter and summer. A press release says, “Volvo Cars safety experts have identified that it is less safe to use traditional summer or winter tyres when conditions are dry or wet with temperatures around zero degrees. In these conditions, the Recharge tyres are the safest option.” These tyres are best-balanced for safety and all-year performance when the weather and road conditions change frequently. This development would simplify customers’ lives by avoiding the bi-annual hassle of tyre changes and at the same time reducing CO2 emissions and achieving A-class energy efficiency, which reflects its commitment to sustainable products.
According to Volvo Cars’ press release: Driving a pure electric Volvo XC40 on Recharge tyres can reduce energy consumption by up to 8 percent and extend the average driving range, compared with driving on winter tyres. For the pure electric XC40 Recharge, CO2 emissions from electricity usage can be reduced from 92 g/km to 84 g/km (EU-28 mix) when driving with Recharge tyres instead of EU/Nordic friction winter tyres of C-class energy efficiency. Moreover, one set of tyres for all year round will help in the reduction of aluminum wheel production, an additional climate impact benefit.
“With electric cars, keeping tyre rolling resistance low is more important than with traditionally powered cars, since it has a bigger impact on consumption and range,” said Gisela Blomkvist, Head of Volvo Cars Sustainability Centre. “Usually, that trait is limited to summer tyres — but with Recharge tyres we extend this into the winter months and realise clear benefits for customers and the environment.”
“In a perfect world, you would wake up each morning, look outside your window, listen to the weather report and fit the right tyres to your car based on what you see and hear before driving away,” said Jan Ivarsson, Senior Safety Expert at Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “Of course, that’s too much to ask of people, so we offer the Recharge tyres as the best-balanced alternative to help keep our customers safe all year round.” However, Recharge tyres may not be the best option for everyone such as for customers living in areas where winter conditions are severe and driving on snow or ice is common.