Volvo remakes the car electronics interface (pictures)
Volvo debuts a whole new automotive infotainment interface for its new XC90 model featuring an innovative touchscreen paradigm, fully connected navigation and audio, and Apple CarPlay.
Volvo XC90, inside first
The Volvo XC90, a large crossover, is getting a significant update for the 2015 model year. Volvo is choosing to trickle information out about the new model, first releasing photos and details of the interior.
These gauges appear to be analog in the photo, but they are actually virtual gauges shown on an LCD. Volvo calls it an "adaptive digital instrument cluster," meaning it will show different themes depending on the drive mode. The XC90 will include a head-up display for driver-critical information.
Volvo redesigned its Sensus infotainment interface for the XC90, adopting a portrait-style touchscreen similar to that in the Tesla Model S. The touchscreen adds infrared sensors so it will work for drivers wearing gloves. Volvo refers to each function shown on the screen as a tile.
Volvo turns to Scandinavian neighbor Nokia for navigation, implementing the company's Here maps. Fellow Swedish company Ericsson provides the cloud platform on which the navigation system runs, suggesting an online system. Unlike the home screen, the navigation tile is expanded in this photo.
Volvo shows the expanded screen for audio from a Bluetooth streaming source. As in other newer cars, the Bluetooth connection allows full music library browsing and selection. A list of recent audio sources are stacked on the left, which could be convenient, but Volvo does not show how a driver browses all audio sources in the car.
Volvo detailed the premium sound system for the XC90, which uses 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers, a 1,400 watt Harman 12-channel amp, and digital signal processing software from Dirac Research. Volvo notes that the Concert Hall audio profile reproduces the acoustic qualities of the Gothenburg Concert Hall in Sweden.
The impressive list of Bowers & Wilkins speakers details seven Nautilus tweeters, seven midrange speakers, four cone woofers, and an air-ventilated subwoofer built into the architecture of the car. One tweeter sits front-and-center on the dashboard, what Bowers & Wilkins refers to as its "tweeter-on-top technology."