For the past few weeks the world of motoring has been obsessed with electric vehicles, with the German carmakers in particular showcasing their latest efforts, but what about the other futuristic element of motoring, autonomous cars?
Well taking care of that this week os Volvo, with the Swedish company debuting a concept vehicle in the form of the Volvo 360c.
Much like Mercedes-Benz’s autonomous concepts, the Volvo 360c is designed to be a living space on wheels.
As such, along with allowing people to drive it manually or let the autopilot take over while they’re doing something else, it also features a cabin that transforms into a sleeping nook, akin to what you find on a business class airplane.
“The basis of the 360c is a fully autonomous, fully electric car without a human driver. The concept capitalises on the freedom in design afforded by the absence of a steering wheel and a combustion engine, providing the ability to reimagine the traditional placement of passengers in rows of two or three,” explains Volvo in a press release about the 360c.
Adding that, “The 360c presents four potential uses of autonomous driving vehicles – a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space – which all reimagine the way people travel. It also introduces a proposal for a global standard in how autonomous vehicles can safely communicate with all other road users.”
There’s no word yet from the company on when or indeed if the Volvo 360c will ever go from the concept phase to a fully fledged car we’ll see on the road.
“Autonomous vehicle concepts have a tendency to become a technology showcase instead of a vision of how people use it,” adds Robin Page, senior VP of design at Volvo Cars.
Instead it seems like the Volvo 360c will serve as the jumping off point for more discussions about autonomous vehicles.
Hopefully though, we still get a version of the 360c some time soon, as it simply looks too awesome not to come to fruition.
“Volvo is a human-centric brand. We focus on the daily lives of our customers and how we can make them better. The 360c is the next iteration of this approach,” concludes Page.