Volvo’s newest concept design is brash. Essentially, the Swedish luxury car company is getting a leg-up on the autonomous EV with the visionary model, pushing the envelope more than a little, and presenting a near-future of automotive travel that is characteristically cozy and a little idealistic. The question to the earthbound private traveler, posited on Volvo’s website, is Why fly when you can be driven?
Why indeed, especially when robotic chauffeuring is just off the next exit.
The vision for the autonomous car is of a land-based mode of travel to rival—or replace—the airplane for regional shuttling. An owner in Seattle who has a business conference in Los Angeles is a good usage case detailing how the car would benefit the traveler of the future: bring a blanket and maybe a favored thunderstorm recording. And a tin, not a hunger-inducing packet, of honey roasted nuts.
Because immediately, the eyes are drawn to the rendering showing the sleeping berth. Never mind the capacity to accommodate small meetings, or catch up on recreational reading en route. Catching a good night’s rest while on the road has traditionally been the province of the limousine owner. Perhaps the ability to catch 40 winks in a car will become an egalitarian luxury in the next phase of highway travel.
Volvo also touches on operation safety and vehicle intercommunication, an urban-conscious design that enables the 360c to be tucked away with a minimum of storage space, and ecological relevance of the model.