Volvo has provided its first glimpse of the driver-focused dash and infotainment system in its XC90 successor, the all-electric EX90.
Aiming to make “the transition from manual to assisted driving modes,” and eventually full-autonomy in future Volvos, “effortless and intuitive,” the infotainment system in the EX90 takes the already simplified approach in the C40 and XC40, and streamlines this yet further. Unlike the sister crossover and SUV EVs, seemingly no switchgear at all has been included on the centre dash, with all systems controlled via a new, large portrait touchscreen. Rather than bombarding with information, this new system is said to provide “clear and contextual information” – complexity made simple – as Volvo looks to re-focus drivers’ attention back to the road.
As the drive begins, for example, the home screen automatically updates to show controls for the SatNav, media options, and the connected smartphone, meaning the driver no longer needs to switch between various sub-menus while on the move. Range, speed and SatNav directions are then relayed to the driver display, which has also been slimmed down from its C40 and XC40 equivalent.
The new system appears to be linked with Volvo’s new LiDAR system, which uses an abundance of sensors and cameras to create a clearer, 360-degree view around the vehicle. Accordingly, a “special contextual bar” will pop-up on the main touchscreen and/or driver display, whether the vehicle is parked or on the move, with suggested actions related to the driver-assist systems (activate parking sensors for example, or turn on lane assist and/or activate cruise control while on the highway). It’s said that in the future, this contextual bar will “learn” the driver’s usage habits, and adapt accordingly.
In principal, this new system is a few steps down from fully-autonomous driving, but means future Volvos will be “hardware-ready” when Level 4 becomes a reality.
“It’s all about providing you with the right information at the right time,” Volvo’s head of UX design Thomas Stovicek explains. “We want your driving experience to be focused, simple and safe. Since the car also understands its surroundings and you better than ever before, we can create an even safer situation by reducing mode confusion, distraction and information overload.”
Alongside the dash layout, Volvo also recently previewed the new ‘Nordico’ material used throughout the EX90 cabin’s upholstery, made using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and bio-attributed material sourced “responsibly” from forests in Sweden and Finland.
On top of that, Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood paneling, said to evoke the Nordic wilderness, features across the doors and dash, while an animal welfare wool blend has been used for the seats. In keeping with its pledge to go climate-neutral by 2040, Volvo claims the EX90 interior features almost 50 kg of recycled plastic and/or bio-based materials.