I was an Idiot for Considering Volvo Would Provide Video Chat Even though Driving

Volvo 90 center display

A few years after Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray in patenting the phone, an individual conceptualized the telephonoscope and the globe became bedeviled by the notion of seeing a person although you conversed remotely. Video phones appeared in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Jay Roach’s timeless classic Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), and just about everywhere in between. They even cropped up in real life. AT&ampT tested the waters in the 1920s by pairing mechanical television receivers to telephones ahead of blowing half a billion dollars on the Picturephone a couple of decades later.

Issues are diverse nowadays. You can simply bring up any number of applications on your hand-held device and video chat with people from practically anyplace on the planet. Nevertheless, we in no way truly got a committed video telephone in our vehicles, producing a compellingly retro-futuristic want for such a factor.

Then Volvo announced that it was adding Skype for Company to its 90 Series cars and I started imagining a universe exactly where I would notify besuited guys — face-to-face — that I did not have any longer time to speak since I was significantly as well busy driving. It was a excellent fantasy where I told nervous industrialists which robots should create the smaller robots and who to fire all from the comfort of my mobile office — and although searching them proper in their terrified eyes.

I was setting myself up for some supreme disappointment.

In the announcement, Volvo’s Vice President of Customer Connectivity Solutions, Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, explained that the partnership with Microsoft not only resulted in the inclusion of Skype but also Cortana — the company’s intelligent personal assistant. This implies you can schedule your calendar and issue commands just by employing your voice.

“We’ve all been there. Sitting in the vehicle trying to join a conference contact. You either fumble with or drop your phone while attempting to connect or you forget the extended pin code to join. It is not the very best way to commence an critical contact in the vehicle. On top of all that your focus is not exactly where it ought to be — on the road. With the addition of Skype for Company all that goes away,” said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz.

I have been there on a singular occasion. It’s as if Anders was speaking directly to me about issues I was just realizing were ruining my life.

“Skype for Company represents yet another massive step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication provide,” Tylman-Mikiewicz continued. “With the dawn of autonomous automobiles we see a future where flexible in-automobile productivity tools will allow individuals to reduce time spent in the office.”

That is perfect for me, due to the fact a massive step forward is specifically what I’m looking for. Midsize luxury vehicles are not always the most thrilling so this is the sort of shot in the arm that is sorely necessary. Plus, who desires to devote a lot more time in the office when they can video chat from inside their own auto? No one.

It sounded like a excellent universe. However, as issues progressed, I noticed there wasn’t an abundance of talk about the video capabilities of the app or the in-car camera. In fact, Volvo entirely glossed more than those components, and I became lightly worried. Assuming they may well have forgotten, I reached out to Volvo’s media team for clarification on the amazing video technologies they were like in the S90 sedan, V90 wagon, and XC90 SUV.

A spokesperson answered my queries with, “No video-to-video, audio only.”

I felt like an imbecile. How could I possibly have believed they would incorporate video conferencing? The spokesperson mentioned the Skype app had been adapted to a driving context, and of course it would be. No sane organization would give someone operating a car such an enticing diversion from the road ahead. Volvo could most likely have easily included screen-sharing and crisp image quality, but didn’t want to face an onslaught of lawsuits from distracted drivers and the households of their victims.

Even though, what is Volvo really offering, then? A far more seamless way to dial into a conference contact and a digital assistant that you almost certainly already have access to by way of your wise phone? As foolish of me as it was to assume there would be video, this all feels sort of like a tease. I could feel of much stronger selling points for the organization to brag about than upgraded audio conferencing and a calendar. Anyway, I can just duct tape my mobile device to the center console of any vehicle, so this is not a gigantic issue.

[Image: Volvo]

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2017 Volvo V90 Cross Nation: The Swedes Debut an Anti-Crossover

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Studio

What a distinction a lift makes.

Often the purveyors of some thing distinct, Sweden’s Volvo Car Corporation has officially lifted the veil on its newest product — a lifted, all-terrain version of its sophisticated V90 wagon.

Just do not get in touch with it a crossover. It’s a Cross Nation.

Perhaps all-terrain is a misnomer. Feel “more terrain” instead. The V90 Cross Nation, very first revealed at final November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, is meant to replace the brand’s slow-selling XC70. That wagon also sported a raised ride height and all-wheel drive, with a very wholesome dash of plastic bodyside cladding.

Thankfully, the body cladding has gone the way of the Aztek and Avalanche.

With the Cross Nation, Volvo has fleshed out its 90-series lineup. Long, sophisticated and packed with technologies, the best shelf sedan and wagons compliment the XC90 SUV that sparked the as soon as-struggling brand’s turnaround.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Driving Matte

Specifications released by Volvo show the ground clearance of the Cross Nation rising from six inches to eight.two inches. The automaker lists the model’s approach and departure angles at 18.9 degrees and 20.7 degrees, respectively. Owners aren’t probably to danger a Jeep-worthy off-road excursion in the pricey V90 Cross Country, but you never know when the woods will come calling.

Speaking of coniferous trees standing starkly against a brilliant white sky, the promotional videos accompanying the Cross Country’s launch need to have been filmed by the Swedish Tourism Bureau. You will want to freeze your ass off after watching them. Oh, and the Volvo seems nice, too.

V90 Cross Country models are offered in T5 and T6 guise, with the former turbocharged 2.-liter 4-cylinder producing 254 horsepower and the latter producing 320. T6 engines are supercharged and turbocharged. There’s as a lot air blowing under the wagon’s hood as there is in the vast Scandinavian mountains.

Each engines are bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

When the going gets rough (in a refined way), Cross Nation owners can engage the vehicle’s “Off Road” drive mode, one of four modes available — like Eco, Comfort and Dynamic (meaning high performance). Rear air suspension with laptop-controlled dampers are optional.

Tested in the bone-chilling snows of northern Sweden and the butt-scorching flats of Arizona, Volvo claims the Cross Country’s all-climate capabilities are sufficiently vetted. Anything less, of course, would be un-Scandinavian. The V90 Cross Country begins production this fall.

[Pictures: Volvo Automobile Corporation]

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Volvo Still Feels the Passion, Says Its Technologies Will Never Take Away Human Driving Enjoyable

Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

There are upsides to autonomous driving, but Volvo drivers are nonetheless produced of flesh, with blood pumping although their veins.

As opposed to that hazy group of people who drop their minds with excitement at the believed of often being a passenger in their personal car, the Swedish automaker is not about to take away the act of driving from its customers.

Volvo’s CEO may have been channeling fictional Volvo enthusiast Simon Templar when he claimed he only wants technologies to take away the boring elements of driving.

Speaking to Autocar, Håkan Samuelsson said, “We have no ambition to have a auto that could drive in urban environments from A to B.”

The sound you hear is Google and Apple staffers spitting out their green tea power drinks.

“If you’re a typical consumer, is that really what you are dreaming about?” Samuelsson asked. “We think far more that in a circumstance exactly where it is not genuinely exciting to drive, you can switch on the autopilot and then sit back and do one thing else, making use of that time much more productively. That is the item we are creating.”

Like so numerous other automakers, Volvo is busy creating self-driving technologies. The automaker plans to launch a actual-world test of its Intellisafe Autopilot system in Sweden subsequent year. These trials will see one hundred XC90  SUVs outfitted with the technologies driving all over ABBA’s homeland, whilst a smaller test will take place in London, England.

Samuelsson stated Volvo doesn’t want to market place the method unless it can be completely autonomous when switched on, unlike automakers that use semi-autonomous systems as driver’s aids.

[Image: Volvo Vehicle Corporation]

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