Volvo owners will be able to talk with car
PUBLISHED: 09:20 10 January 2016
More than 33 years after the popular American TV show Knight Rider showed David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff talking to his car, Kitt, inset below, Volvo and Microsoft are launching a wearable-enabled voice-control system.
Volvo owners will, via their Microsoft Band 2, be able to tell the vehicle to perform tasks including setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app, Volvo on Call, and the connected wearable device.
In November, Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology – the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer which could, in future, redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy their car.
Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2 as another proof-point in their ambition to jointly develop next-generation automotive technologies.
Thomas Müller, vice president electrics, electronics and e-propulsion at Volvo Car Group, said: “Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. With voice control, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities.”
Volvo Cars has begun to focus closely on innovations outside the traditional automotive arena, keen to open up potential partnerships and new business models.
Klas Bendrik, senior vice president and group chief information officer at Volvo Car Group, said: “When innovating, we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. If a technology does not make a customer’s life easier, better, safer or more fun, we don’t use it.”
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, said: “Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”
The new possibility to connect to a Volvo with voice control through Microsoft Band 2 will be available for customers in Volvo on Call-enabled markets in spring.