Concept 26

Volvo has previewed a new and futuristic cabin called the Volvo Concept 26. Named as such to reflect the average person’s 26-minute daily commute to work (clearly unlike Malaysian standards), the cabin is said to be a work-in-progress that will eventually feature in future Volvo autonomous vehicles.

Robin Page, vice president of Interior Design at Volvo Cars said, “it’s all about people. Our research clearly shows that some people will want to use their commuting time creatively when they have full autonomous drive available, while others will want to just sit back and relax, watch online media or listen to music. Autonomous drive will make all of this possible. This is what Concept 26 has captured by reimagining the entire car experience.”

The transformable interior design is similar to that of the Mercedes-Benz F015 Concept’s interior, which also featured a futuristic but initially conventional layout that can be transformed into a social living space. The Volvo Concept 26 is also a transformable cabin, but appears to be focused purely on the driver. Three different positions are possible for a driver to experience, called Drive, Create and Relax.

Concept 26

When a driver delegates all driving controls to the autonomous Volvo, the steering wheel retracts and a large display screen flips out from the dashboard in a similar way to the Nissan IDS concept. Additionally, the seat and centre console can also slide backwards to expose more legroom. In full relax mode, a foot rest can emerge from under the driver’s seat, with a food tray optionally sliding outwards from the door.

“We have gone to great lengths to understand the challenges and opportunities that autonomous cars will bring to people in coming years, and our flexible approach to engineering and design, enabled by our new Scalable Product Architecture, means that we can readily bring this from concept to reality,” said Dr Peter Mertens, a senior vice president for Research and Development at the Volvo Car Group.

The new cabin concept is a complement to Volvo’s ongoing Drive Me project which is set to introduce a fleet of autonomous vehicles on to the roads of its hometown in Gothenburg, Sweden, by 2017.