Aside from the fetching Volvo Concept Estate, the Swedish brand will reveal its new in-car control system at Geneva. Designed around a large tablet-like touch screen, the system will simplify and enhance the way drivers operate their cars, Volvo says.
The touch screen replaces the traditional selection of buttons and controls on the centre stack. It will blend tablet functionality, such as swiping and pinching, with new solutions that are specially designed for the in-car environment. It also interacts with the digital instrument cluster.
The layout on the portrait screen can be described as a stack of flexible ‘tiles’, each displaying a key functionality. Navigation is on the top, followed by media and telephone. A thin notification band is located above the tiles, while the digital climate controls become the ‘foundation’ of the pile.
The new user interface is designed so that the tiles on the touch screen expand on interaction. When one of the tiles expands to display required information, the others are compressed, still visible and instantly accessible.
“Creating this crystal clear, yet calm, environment is a core part of our digital craftsmanship. It is fine for an ordinary tablet to fight for your full attention but a touch screen in a car is very different. Information must be clear and user-friendly, without turning up the visual volume so much that you risk losing focus on the road. This also makes it easier to make really urgent information, such as a warning, much more distinctive,” said Thomas Ingenlath, senior VP of design at Volvo Car Group.
This new in-car control system will be introduced in the next generation of Volvos, starting with the all-new Volvo XC90 later this year.