Volvo 360c concept previews fully autonomous future

Driverless Volvo 360c looks to rival air, bus and train companies with comprehensive autonomous capabilities

Volvo’s vision of an autonomous future has been previewed by the 360c concept – a car the company claims could transform it from a traditional car maker into a transport company rivalling airlines, train companies and bus operators with a first class, door-to-door service.

The fully-electric 360c claims to be part car, part office, part bedroom, part living room and even somewhere you could hold a party – all while being autonomously driven from A to B.

The best electric cars on sale

The interior mimics first-class-style aircraft ‘pods’ where users can work, sleep or entertain, with Volvo claiming it can transform how and where people live.

As well as safety and environmental benefits, such as reduced pollution and congestion congestion, Volvo says it could bring health and lifestyle benefits by reducing the need to live in built-up cities with autonomous travel to and from work. Volvo also says it could have an effect on the housing market, increasing what it calls ‘residential freedom’ by reducing pressure on house prices and more introducing more affordable home ownership.

“The 360c explores what becomes possible when we remove the human driver, using new freedoms in design and recapturing time – it’s a glimpse at how autonomous drive technology will change the world as we know it,” said Marten Levenstam, Volvo’s senior vice president of corporate strategy.

“People becoming less reliant on proximity to cities is just one example of the impact of removing the burden of unproductive travel time. The 360c driving office makes it viable for people to live at greater distances from crowded cities and use their time both in a more pleasant and more effective way.”

Production for the 360c is highly unlikely for several years, though, with Volvo seeing it more as a ‘conversation starter’ among various stakeholders into future infrastructure needs.

All you need to know about autonomous cars

Volvo has also used the unveil of the 360c concept to call for a universal standard for autonomous cars to communicate with other road users. Without a driver at the wheel, pedestrians can’t rely on human contact to make a decision on how to interact with a vehicle. So Volvo’s engineers have focused on creating a universal standard, so other road users don’t have to consider the make of autonomous vehicle they’re interacting with.

The 360c uses a combination of external sounds, colours, visuals, movements, to communicate the vehicle’s intentions to other road users. “We strongly believe this communication method should be a universal standard, so all road users can communicate easily with any autonomous car, regardless of which maker built it,” said Malin Ekholm, vice president at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

Now read about the Renault Symbioz concept, which previews autonomous features that could arrive by 2023…

Recommended

Volvo XC40 Recharge gets Range Assistant over-the-air update
Volvo OTA update
Volvo

Volvo XC40 Recharge gets Range Assistant over-the-air update

The first big over-the-air update for Android Automotive backed Volvo models includes a new app intended to help owners maximise their driving range
19 Oct 2021
Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030
Volvo interior
Volvo

Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030

New C40 Recharge will be first Volvo to be offered without the option of leather upholstery
23 Sep 2021
Baby electric Volvo SUV likely to be built in China
Volvo XC20 - front (watermarked)
Volvo

Baby electric Volvo SUV likely to be built in China

Volvo's upcoming compact electric SUV edges closer, but is unlikely to be named 'XC20'
23 Jul 2021
New Volvo Concept Recharge previews firm’s all-electric future
Volvo Concept Recharge - front
Volvo

New Volvo Concept Recharge previews firm’s all-electric future

The new Volvo Concept Recharge gives a glimpse at the Swedish brand's design language inside and out
30 Jun 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
20 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021