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Volvo Cars adds Microsoft’s Skype for Business to 90 Series; looking ahead to autonomous cars

Volvo Cars will introduce Skype for Business, Microsoft’s collaborative productivity app, to its new 90 Series cars. Volvo Cars is the first carmaker to launch such an in-car productivity tool.

Skype for Business is actively used by millions of people at work around the globe. In Volvo’s 90 Series cars people will be able to view their upcoming meetings and participant details, and join meetings with one click via the large center display.

201913_Join_Skype_for_Business_meeting_in_a_Volvo_car
Join Skype for Business meeting in a Volvo car using a simple tap of the center display. Click to enlarge.

We’ve all been there. Sitting in the car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble with or drop your phone while trying to connect or you forget the long pin code to join. It’s not the best way to start an important call in the car. On top of all that your attention is not where it should be—on the road. With the addition of Skype for Business all that goes away.

Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer. With the dawn of autonomous cars we see a future where flexible in-car productivity tools will enable people to reduce time spent in the office. This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in the car.

—Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz Vice President Consumer Connectivity Services at Volvo Car Group

Volvo’s partnership with Microsoft also includes the exploration of using Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, with the express intention of adding seamless voice recognition and contextual insights to support peoples’ daily lives by actively predicting their needs.

Comments

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With fully autonomous cars the car could become an office room on wheels. We need cars that have a table in the middle and 2 or 3 seats on each side. Expensive human driver controls could be an option that cost extra for those that will not give up on driving themselves once in a while. The table should have a system to attach portable computers so that it stays on the table even in a hard crash.

Tesla will have driverless cars by early 2018 that are twice as safe as non-driverless cars and by 2020 Tesla’s driverless cars could be 10 times safer than non-driverless cars. After 2020 I expect Tesla to focus on designing cars that are not meant for human drivers but focused on the time we can spend in the car when it drives itself. That means office tables in small cars and even beds, toilets and dining in large all night long-haul taxi busses that will compete with short-distance aviation.

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