Volvo Cars’ 360c Autonomous Concept Provides Replacement to Short-Haul Air Travel
Volvo autonomous vehicles will be more feasible for busy domestic routes.
Volvo Cars has recently revealed its 360c Autonomous Concept, which would change the way most of us travel long distances. Instead of wasting time at airport security, queuing, waiting and traveling in a noisy airline, you could simply book your own first-class private cabin in an autonomous vehicle, which is safe, connected, and fully electric. The vehicle will pick you from your location and drop you to your destination, which will save you a lot of precious time and allow you to stay relaxed.
The autonomous vehicles will not have a human driver, a steering wheel, and the combustion engine. The absence of these features will pave way for four possible uses of these vehicles; a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room, and entertainment space. This completely changes the way we will travel in the future.
“The business will change in the coming years and Volvo should lead that change of our industry,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president, and CEO of Volvo. “Autonomous drive will allow us to take the big next step in safety but also open up exciting new business models and allow consumers to spend time in the car doing what they want to do.”
Volvo Cars’ 360c Autonomous Concept puts it in direct competition with short-haul air travel services. These service providers are running a multi-billion dollar industry. However, the 360c will focus on shorter routes like about 300 kilometers. Additionally, Volvo autonomous vehicles will be more feasible for busy domestic routes like New York to Washington DC, Houston to Dallas and Los Angeles to San Diego. If you have to travel on these routes, you would surely know the hassle of traveling to the airport first, going through security, waiting in the queue to sitting in the aircraft and then actually travel to the destination.
“Domestic air travel sounds great when you buy your ticket, but it really isn’t. The 360c represents what could be a whole new take on the industry,” said Mårten Levenstam, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Volvo Cars. “The sleeping cabin allows you to enjoy premium comfort and peaceful travel through the night and wake up refreshed at your destination. It could enable us to compete with the world’s leading aircraft makers.”
“Autonomous vehicle concepts have a tendency to become a technology showcase instead of a vision of how people use it,” said Robin Page, senior vice president of design at Volvo Cars. “But Volvo is a human-centric brand. We focus on the daily lives of our customers and how we can make them better. The 360c is the next iteration of this approach.”
The 360c Autonomous Concept is not a final product and it needs a lot of discussions, ideas and answers before it actually becomes a viable option for long distance travels.
“When the Wright brothers took to the skies in 1903, they did not have a clue about what modern air travel would look like,” said Mårten Levenstam. “We do not know what the future of autonomous drive will hold, but it will have a profound impact on how people travel, how we design our cities and how we use infrastructure. We regard the 360c as a conversation starter, with more ideas and answers to come as we learn more.”