Little by little, Swedish carmaker Volvo is revealing details about the technical concepts of its new electric flagship EX90, which is to be presented to the public on 9 November. Chip manufacturer Qualcomm plays an important role in this.
In a blog post, Thomas Stovieck, Volvo’s Head of User Experience (UX), described the basic features of the driver-vehicle interface and thus the cockpit design. First and foremost, Stovieck said, was the principle of simplicity and focus in the design. To ensure a safe and focused driving experience, the designers radically simplified the user interface.
In concrete terms, this becomes evident in the design of the two cockpit displays: the Swedes have given the EX90 a large central display in vertical orientation and a smaller, transverse display directly in front of the driver.
Other vehicles also have this, but Volvo wants to go one step further. “No information overflow, no intrusive technology,” Stovieck said. Special attention was paid to the principle “do not overload the screen”. The horizontal screen in front of the driver this contains the essential driving information while the large vertical screen serves for richer presentations and displays controls and further information such as navigational maps or infotainment data. The center display also contains a context-sensitive status line which will reflect the current usage situation and vehicle status. “Contextual is our new normal,” the Volvo UX expert described. Besides being context-dependent, the display will memorize the driver’s usage patterns and thus become smarter over time.
The car’s infotainment system features processors from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Automotive platform, which support precisely this two-display concept. The performance also seems to be right: The chip manufacturer claims that the graphics are more than ten times faster than previous comparable systems.
Snapdragon Cockpit platforms enable functions such as seamless touch and voice control with just one or two clicks on the screens behind the steering wheel, on the dashboard and on a projected display in the windscreen. The driver has access to two screens – one screen provides navigation between maps, media and phone contacts, while the other screen behind the steering wheel provides driving-related information (directions, speed and range).
The latest Volvo announcement adds to the circle of partnerships Qualcomm meanwhile has in place with global automakers. Just last month, Qualcomm announced at its first Automotive Investor Day that its revenue from automotive development has grown to $30 billion. This growth is due to the implementation of the Snapdragon Digital Chassis solution.
Volvo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4-lKcGIiBw&t=1s