Volvo 360c offers three scenarios: office, social hub, air travel on roadVolvo

Volvo is developing clean, self-driving cars. From its research and development center in Gothenburg, the premium Swedish marque has also been busy building the technology and infrastructure to support future mobility. The 360c concept car presented here is an expression of this – it reflects Volvo’s grand vision. This study vehicle imagines the various scenarios in which we will move around when cars are run on little energy, are self-driving and highly connected. The 360c is at once a self-driving workstation offering hot-desking on the move; a mobile hub to socialise with friends; and a tranquil bedroom-on-wheels – what the firm calls “road planes”.

Leading carmakers with an ambition to survive the next life of the motor car are involved in sustainable vehicle development. Yet, Volvo’s approach appears to be more holistic. It is initiating a dialogue with other car companies, with policy makers and with governments around the world to help find real answers and safety solutions. Volvo feels there must be a universal standard for autonomous communication that is easily followed by all road users in all societies and adopted by all car companies.

The Volvo 360c design retains a pure, scandinavian aestheticVolco

A dedicated team at Volvo are studying body language codes, how humans around the world interact with other road users. These are then mimicked through light, sound and motion which are transmitted through an LED belt that wraps around the 360c car. The company is exploring the idea of “disappearing tech” with complex technology kept tucked away beneath the belt, in another wrap-around area, hidden behind a panel.

In terms of design, the 360c stays clear of looking too futuristic. Design director, Robin Page, feels that visually it should not sway too far from Volvo’s mainstream cars and retain the “Scandinavian cleanliness”. His approach was more architectural than vehicle design, especially with some of the detail. The four-spec wheel design, for instance, typically difficult to do well work with the architectural feel of this car. Much like building design, the team were more concerned with what happens inside the 360c.

In scenario two, the 360c’s interior transforms into a social zoneVolvo

The cabin space is kept clean and clear, the colour codes neutral, where the three scenarios can easily unfold. In concept one, the cabin can accommodate four persons who sit face-to-face. The workstation concept, Page says, works well in a big city where office rents are high and you can work from home using this space to run meetings. The second more social scenario harks back to the Volvo ambience X90 concept, showing different themes to create an atmosphere en-route for a night out. Here the cabin is more informal and almost an extension of the living space.

The final alteration is the “road plane” scenario, which appears to be the most original. Page agrees: “The sleeping car is the one we feel is the most exciting as it is challenging air travel.” He has opted for a single passenger hub design to maintain the premium travel quality. It reads much like the first-class airline cabin with a chair that reclines to be a bed, a folding table and storage space. This autonomous hub will pick you up from your home, offer you food and drink that is pre-ordered on your app, let you recline and relax, watch a movie, sleep, then wash and dress in the morning, arriving at your destination with little of the stress of air travel. Volvo believes it could potentially disrupt short distance airlines, especially in the US where such flights are so commonly used. The company says it could potentially sell or lease these hubs to airlines.

This is the 360c interior layout as a mobile sleeping hubVolvo

In terms of materials Page says they went for natural textures, mainly linen and wool mixes for the upholstery to conjure up the feeling of a living room, office and bedroom. There is also a good dose of sustainable and recycled materials featured here to include float wood sourced, he says, by one of his team from a nearby lake, treated to automotive standards and placed on the floor area.

Central to the 360c concept, however, is finding safety solutions for when our cars no longer have a human pilot, when they need to speak to one another and to pedestrians. The recent Uber tragedy which involved a Volvo car, of course, has highlighted the complexity of safety in the age of autonomous driving. With the 360c project, Volvo has taken a human-centric approach in the design and development. This is the car company that invented the three-point seat belt in 1959. Now the engineers at the Swedish technology centre in Gothenburg are looking at new forms of seat belts for when we no longer are obliged to sit in stillness in rows of two or three looking at the road ahead, for when we have the freedom to move around our vehicles, sit in multiple ways, dance, recline and sleep.

The Volvo 360c exterior design is architecturally ledVolvo

“A lot will depend on the future infrastructure,” admits Page. A special safety blanket has been envisaged to cocoon the passenger inside the sleeper hub. Still in development stage, it is likely to include restraining systems that sense the shape and size of the body to work in similar ways to the current three-point safety belt, but with more flexibility.

Page says ideas around the 360c have been floating around Volvo for a few years. This, he feels, is a step towards a broad discussion about the potential for autonomous driving technology to fundamentally alter society. “This concept is more about a vehicle on demand. The idea is you select what you need on an app and a clean and personalised vehicle arrives at your door, picks you up, drops you off and then disappears,” explains Page. “The office may be the only one you would want to have ownership of; the others will be more like a hotel room where you hand over your keys at the end of the day.” This is the future of sustainable luxury, according to Volvo.

Read about Volvo’s premium, performance electric car sister brand Polestar here

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Volvo 360c offers three scenarios: office, social hub, air travel on roadVolvo

Volvo is developing clean, self-driving cars. From its research and development center in Gothenburg, the premium Swedish marque has also been busy building the technology and infrastructure to support future mobility. The 360c concept car presented here is an expression of this – it reflects Volvo’s grand vision. This study vehicle imagines the various scenarios in which we will move around when cars are run on little energy, are self-driving and highly connected. The 360c is at once a self-driving workstation offering hot-desking on the move; a mobile hub to socialise with friends; and a tranquil bedroom-on-wheels – what the firm calls “road planes”.

Leading carmakers with an ambition to survive the next life of the motor car are involved in sustainable vehicle development. Yet, Volvo’s approach appears to be more holistic. It is initiating a dialogue with other car companies, with policy makers and with governments around the world to help find real answers and safety solutions. Volvo feels there must be a universal standard for autonomous communication that is easily followed by all road users in all societies and adopted by all car companies.

The Volvo 360c design retains a pure, scandinavian aestheticVolco

A dedicated team at Volvo are studying body language codes, how humans around the world interact with other road users. These are then mimicked through light, sound and motion which are transmitted through an LED belt that wraps around the 360c car. The company is exploring the idea of “disappearing tech” with complex technology kept tucked away beneath the belt, in another wrap-around area, hidden behind a panel.

In terms of design, the 360c stays clear of looking too futuristic. Design director, Robin Page, feels that visually it should not sway too far from Volvo’s mainstream cars and retain the “Scandinavian cleanliness”. His approach was more architectural than vehicle design, especially with some of the detail. The four-spec wheel design, for instance, typically difficult to do well work with the architectural feel of this car. Much like building design, the team were more concerned with what happens inside the 360c.

In scenario two, the 360c’s interior transforms into a social zoneVolvo

The cabin space is kept clean and clear, the colour codes neutral, where the three scenarios can easily unfold. In concept one, the cabin can accommodate four persons who sit face-to-face. The workstation concept, Page says, works well in a big city where office rents are high and you can work from home using this space to run meetings. The second more social scenario harks back to the Volvo ambience X90 concept, showing different themes to create an atmosphere en-route for a night out. Here the cabin is more informal and almost an extension of the living space.

The final alteration is the “road plane” scenario, which appears to be the most original. Page agrees: “The sleeping car is the one we feel is the most exciting as it is challenging air travel.” He has opted for a single passenger hub design to maintain the premium travel quality. It reads much like the first-class airline cabin with a chair that reclines to be a bed, a folding table and storage space. This autonomous hub will pick you up from your home, offer you food and drink that is pre-ordered on your app, let you recline and relax, watch a movie, sleep, then wash and dress in the morning, arriving at your destination with little of the stress of air travel. Volvo believes it could potentially disrupt short distance airlines, especially in the US where such flights are so commonly used. The company says it could potentially sell or lease these hubs to airlines.

This is the 360c interior layout as a mobile sleeping hubVolvo

In terms of materials Page says they went for natural textures, mainly linen and wool mixes for the upholstery to conjure up the feeling of a living room, office and bedroom. There is also a good dose of sustainable and recycled materials featured here to include float wood sourced, he says, by one of his team from a nearby lake, treated to automotive standards and placed on the floor area.

Central to the 360c concept, however, is finding safety solutions for when our cars no longer have a human pilot, when they need to speak to one another and to pedestrians. The recent Uber tragedy which involved a Volvo car, of course, has highlighted the complexity of safety in the age of autonomous driving. With the 360c project, Volvo has taken a human-centric approach in the design and development. This is the car company that invented the three-point seat belt in 1959. Now the engineers at the Swedish technology centre in Gothenburg are looking at new forms of seat belts for when we no longer are obliged to sit in stillness in rows of two or three looking at the road ahead, for when we have the freedom to move around our vehicles, sit in multiple ways, dance, recline and sleep.

The Volvo 360c exterior design is architecturally ledVolvo

“A lot will depend on the future infrastructure,” admits Page. A special safety blanket has been envisaged to cocoon the passenger inside the sleeper hub. Still in development stage, it is likely to include restraining systems that sense the shape and size of the body to work in similar ways to the current three-point safety belt, but with more flexibility.

Page says ideas around the 360c have been floating around Volvo for a few years. This, he feels, is a step towards a broad discussion about the potential for autonomous driving technology to fundamentally alter society. “This concept is more about a vehicle on demand. The idea is you select what you need on an app and a clean and personalised vehicle arrives at your door, picks you up, drops you off and then disappears,” explains Page. “The office may be the only one you would want to have ownership of; the others will be more like a hotel room where you hand over your keys at the end of the day.” This is the future of sustainable luxury, according to Volvo.

Read about Volvo’s premium, performance electric car sister brand Polestar here