Volvo's recently unveiled Concept 26 is its vision for the autonomous car of the future. Its "Relax Mode" would allow occupants to watch video content while the car takes care of driving. Working with Ericsson, Volvo is now developing the tech to stream that content to a car on the move.
"Imagine a highway full of autonomous cars with their occupants sitting back watching their favorite TV shows in high definition," says general manager of the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center at Volvo Car Group Anders Tylman. "This new way of commuting will demand new technology and a much broader bandwidth to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience."
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According to Volvo, almost 70 percent of all mobile data traffic will be from video in the coming years, with video data currently growing at a rate of 55 percent annually. The company says that the shift towards autonomous driving will lead to greater demand still and a need for "consistent and high-bandwidth coverage outside densely populated areas such as city centers and suburbs."
In order to deliver high-quality, interruption-free viewing in moving cars, Volvo plans to both manage bandwidth provision and tailor content. It will do this by learning a vehicle's most common routes and times of travel and by understanding the media preferences of occupants.
Based on the vehicle's planned or predicted route, the carmaker says it will be able to offer content that matches the expected route length. In addition, it will be able to look at the network conditions on the route ahead and buffer the chosen content accordingly, providing bandwidth as required. In this way, Volvo says it will be possible to maximize the quality of content and ensure viewing is uninterrupted.