Volvo has announced it will add Skype connectivity to its S90, V90 and XC90 models, making the Swedish brand the first car company to add the connectivity software to its cars.
The system is Skype for Business, which is designed for conference calling, not video calls – so safety anoraks needn’t be too concerned. The system to be added to the S90, V90 and XC90 models will allow drivers to see their upcoming meetings and call participants, while they can join calls by touching the graphic on the centre display screen.
Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, vice president consumer connectivity services at Volvo Car Group, said the system will help busy executives stay contactable no matter where they are.
“We’ve all been there. Sitting in the car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble with or drop your phone while trying to connect or you forget the long pin code to join. It’s not the best way to start an important call in the car. On top of all that your attention is not where it should be – on the road. With the addition of Skype for Business all that goes away,” said Tylman-Mikiewicz.
“Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer. With the dawn of autonomous cars we see a future where flexible in-car productivity tools will enable people to reduce time spent in the office. This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in the car,” he said.
According to the company, the way the brand approaches in-car connectivity is drive by consumer desires to make their “lives easier and safer”. Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant (akin to Siri for Apple) is included, too, with voice control and predictive intelligence of driver behaviours.