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Creating intuitive technology that understands you

A human-centric car company

When a team at Volvo Cars starts work on a new car the aim is always to make life easier, better and safer for people. This is the vision that drives us to create intuitive technology that blends cutting-edge innovation with ease of use.

Learning from our customers

Technology in a Volvo car feels natural and intuitive because we understand people. Our designers, engineers and researchers take the time to look, listen and find out how our customers live and how they interact with their car. They want to know what our customers want, and how they can improve things for the future. Then they innovate to make our customers’ lives easier, better and safer. For today and tomorrow. 

Human Technology at Volvo Cars

This human-centric focus is what makes us different from other car companies. And this deep understanding of people’s needs is why the technology in the latest Volvo cars provides a more relaxing experience behind the wheel. Volvo Cars engineers don’t rest until they achieve an intuitive, uncluttered environment, applying the latest technologies available. It’s central to the premium experience that you get in every new Volvo.

The perfect example is the beautiful centre display with touch screen at the heart of our latest models’ cabins. Developed through extensive research conducted with our customers, it has a sleek surface that comes alive at your touch, and it even works when wearing gloves. Dr David Hermann, technical expert, visual performance and display technology at Volvo Cars, helped make sure it feels familiar and easy to use. “We did a lot of work to make sure that it’s readable in any light,” he says. “And the high-gloss surface we use gives a sharp image. It’s a simple, stylish solution, inspired by smartphones.”

Responsive, intuitive and safe

Volvo Cars’ Sensus navigation – like all our innovations – was also refined in response to customer feedback. It makes the most of the screen’s vertical format, displaying more of the road you’re travelling on than a landscape display would. It also comes with over-the-air updates, which means that the car always has the latest maps on board.

« Our voice control function is easy and natural. That’s how technology should be. »

Jenny Wilkie

Speech expert for Volvo Cars

« What can we do to make things easier? That’s what we ask ourselves. »

Johannes Hedberg

Interaction designer

The handwriting function available for the new Volvo XC60 is another example of innovative, intuitive technology developed in response to our customers’ demands. It allows you to write messages, search for contacts, enter destinations and find a favourite song simply by writing letters – or whole words – on the centre touch screen with your finger. Johannes Hedberg, an interaction designer who helped to develop it, says the thinking behind it was simple: “What can we do to make things easier? That’s what we ask ourselves,” he explains.

We understand that the right technology makes driving safer and more comfortable, too. Take a look at the head-up display, for example. It projects important information onto the windscreen – such as your speed, navigation instructions and speed limits – so that you don’t have to look away from the road to read it. And our advanced voice control function allows you to operate climate control, navigation, media and telephone features just by speaking. 

Dialogue engineering

Jenny Wilkie, a speech expert for Volvo Cars with a PhD in dialogue engineering, helped make sure it was as useful as possible. “It accepts instructions from a variety of different dialects, in several languages,” she says. “Getting your message across is easy because the car understands more than just set commands. And you don’t have to speak slowly – normal speed works best.”

At Volvo Cars our teams work together to put technology at your service, not the other way around. And being able to talk to your car in a similar way that you would to a person makes voice control more useful and intuitive, as Jenny explains. “It’s easy and natural. That’s how technology should be.”

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