Once equated to elephant-propping steel boxes, Volvo has more recently emerged as a technological innovator and leader. It has bolstered its reputation for safety with such innovations as pedestrian airbags and traffic start-stop while keeping an eye toward the future with next-generation technologies like road trains and car-to-car communications. This week, it announced a technological partnership with another big Swedish company – Ericsson – toward developing a connected infotainment framework.
Volvo looks to leverage Ericsson's information and communications technology experience in integrating the Connected Vehicle Cloud into its vehicle line. Future Volvo cars will be able to access the cloud for infotainment, apps and communications.
The parties haven't provided any details of what features the system will involve, but a look at systems from competitors suggests that navigation; informational applications, such as point of interest locators; and Internet radio services are likely contestants.
"We clearly see that cars in the near future will integrate the same level of digital services that consumers today are used to have in their homes or at work," said Lex Kersemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars. "This is a strategically important part of Volvo Cars' investments for the future where we intend to take a leading position."
The Volvo-Ericsson partnership is the latest example of the growing intersection of the technology and automotive industries. Back in June, Apple announced that it was bringing its voice-based Siri feature to vehicles from nine auto manufacturers. Chrysler worked with Sprint on the Uconnect Access system, which debuts on the 2013 SRT Viper and 2013 Ram 1500.