In just a couple of months Volvo will reveal its first all-new XC90 since the launch of the original SUV all the way back in 2002. The new XC90 is shaping up to be a much more luxurious and refined model than the one it replaces, and it will also be packing some of the latest technology found in the auto industry.
In addition to fuel-efficient hybrid powertrains, new safety features and autonomous capability, the new XC90 will also benefit from an advanced user interface almost completely devoid of conventional buttons. The interface, part of Volvo’s Sensus connectivity and user interface sub-brand, will feature a large tablet-like touchscreen (ala Tesla’s Model S), head-up display, voice activation and some thumb controls on the steering wheel.
The touchscreen replaces the traditional selection of buttons and controls in the center stack with one sleek control panel. This central panel will work together with a configurable digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, while vital information can be projected on the head-up display on the lower part of the windscreen.
To ensure it’s easy to use and quick to become familiarized with, popular information such as navigation and media are displayed high up and easy to check. The phone controls, application icons and climate controls, meanwhile, are located lower on the screen. All of this logic is based on extensive usability and user experience research and the latest technology, according to Volvo.
It’s no coincidence that Volvo’s new interface sounds a lot like the interface of a smartphone. Not only will it provide owners with the ability to mirror and use Apple iOS devices in the touchscreen display, the system will offer a range of additional benefits common to smartphones via integrated cloud-based applications. Available apps will be dependent on the market but should include services for music streaming, navigation, finding and paying for parking, restaurant searches, and vehicle maintenance.
The new Volvo XC90 will be revealed in early August before a formal debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October. Sales in the U.S. commence spring 2015.
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