Volvo design bosses believe the company is well placed to be a world leader in autonomous car cabin design, due to the passenger-focused layout of its interiors.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design, explained that while European rivals have focused on driver-centric cabins, Volvo has long prioritised overall passenger comfort.
“Not being a company that has a passion for power and driver focus means that we have spent more time exploring the passenger lounge area,” he said. “In the S90 Excellence [a three-seater model for China], we used a special centre console and took a seat out to explore what could you actually do with this space.”
To this end, Volvo has been conducting studies to better understand how to maximise well-being for all passengers for many years, and coincidentally, this knowledge is now relevant for autonomous car design.
“Now we see all these exercises have become elements in a big puddle and we were naturally researching in this area,” Ingenlath continued. “It shows that our way of looking into a car has naturally turned into how you use a car in the future.”