Volvo Cars and Microsoft to jointly develop next-gen auto technologies

The two companies have revealed how Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, might be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a car.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 20 Nov 2015 Views icon4120 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Sweden based automaker Volvo Cars has joined hands with leading software giant Microsoft to develop next-generation automotive technologies.

The two companies have revealed how Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, might be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a car, as well as how cars might be bought and sold in future.

Areas of future collaboration between the two companies could include autonomous driving technologies and the utilisation of data generated from connected cars to create new services.

The HoloLens demonstration was conducted at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, USA, and showed how mixed reality might be used by customers to configure cars in three dimensions.

Commenting on the HoloLens Björn Annwall, senior VP, marketing sales and service at Volvo Cars said, “HoloLens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves. Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colours and wheels, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available.”

He added that HoloLens technology might also liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments, allowing them to take a car configurator out on the road in small pop-up stores, shopping malls or on the high street, opening up new sales channels and introducing cars to a far larger potential audience.

Journalists were also given a mixed-reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium saloon, which will be unveiled in reality at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Scott Erickson, senior director, Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft Corp commented on the partnership with Volvo, “We are thrilled to be working with Volvo Cars to reimagine what is possible in car design, discovery and purchasing. We are excited to be at this intersection of technology and human-centric design with Volvo.”

Another important area of focus for the company will be autonomous driving. After developing the Concept 26, a self-driven concept, Volvo Cars has also announced a programme called Drive-Me, in which 100 self-driving and connected cars will be given to real customers on real roads around the Swedish city of Gothenburg by 2017, making it the world’s largest autonomous driving experiment.

Klas Bendrik, senior VP and chief information officer at Volvo Cars said, “We are extremely happy to innovate with Microsoft in the field of future mobility. Today’s technology will allow us to achieve not only a more sustainable and crash-free future but also new benefits for our customers and society. Together with Microsoft we aim to pioneer in this field.”

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