Volvo used this week’s 2013 Consumer Electronics Show
to unveil a new retrofit touch-screen interface for its S60 sedan and XC60 crossover, as well as the V60 wagon sold overseas.
The new unit has been developed together with tech companies Ericsson and Parrot, and will be offered through Volvo’s dealerships.
As Car and Driver
reports, the new unit uses the display screen located in the center of the dash on the aforementioned models. It has its own app-based interface and adds touch control.
Interestingly, Volvo’s retrofit design doesn’t rely on a traditional touch-screen but one that uses infrared sensors located around the screen to monitor your instructions. This means that the original screen doesn’t needed to be removed from the dash.
Functions of the old display, such as navigation, climate-control and other settings, are still controlled via steering-wheel and dash-mounted buttons. However, a new “Connected” section accessed via the touch-screen offers apps like Spotify, TuneIn, and Parrot Maps.
The new software to make the whole thing work is based on Parrot’s Android-based Asteroid car infotainment system. All of the software is loaded on a small box installed in the glove box, which links to the car’s original infotainment system. This box can then have additional apps installed either via a linked smartphone or using its card reader.
Volvo is also working with its technology partners to develop a cloud-based system for its cars where owners will be able to access their favorite music, destinations or apps. More details should be announced closer to the system’s launch in the near future.