|Volvo Cars and Microsoft have formalized a partnership to jointly develop next- generation automotive technologies.|
The Swedish marque and Software giants 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 utilization 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. With HoloLens being a powerful, wearable computer, holograms are mixed into the physical world.
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, explore the colors and accessories or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available. HoloLens technology might also liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments and allow them to take the Car Configurator out on the road. This will open up new sales channels and introduce cars to a larger audience.
During the demonstration, participating motoring journalists were also given a mixed reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium sedan, which will be unveiled in reality at the (NAIAS) North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The demonstration offered an indication of the potential of mixed reality to transform the relationship between the customer and the car.
The demonstration also marked the beginning of longer term cooperation between Volvo and Microsoft that would embrace a range of new technologies. The Volvo-Microsoft tie up should have a greater implication in the automotive industry in the not-too-distant future, especially in the area of autonomous driving. Other areas of the cooperation are expected to include how the information retrieved by cars and drivers can be used to enhance the driving experience, as well as the possibility of using predictive analytics to improve safety.
Volvo Cars is a pioneer in car safety and is leading the way when it comes to connected cars and autonomous driving. It has announced a program called Drive-Me in which 100 self-driving and connected cars would be given to real customers to take to the roads around the Swedish city of Gothenburg by 2017. Gothenburg is the venue for the world’s largest autonomous driving experiment.