Volvo has released an autonomous car concept it believes could be a radical alternative to conventional short-haul aircraft travel.
Called 360c, it’s designed to cut out airport security, hours of queueing and spending time on aeroplanes by offering a door-to-door service.
Designed without a steering wheel or, thanks to its all-electric powertrain, a conventional combustion engine, the 360c can offer far more interior space than a normal car. Volvo believes it can be used as a ‘sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space’.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “Autonomous drive will allow us to take the next big 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.”
The 360c will arrive at your home autonomously, picking you up from your front door and driving directly to your destination. Without the need to drive, the passenger is able to work, sleep or relax while the car autonomously pilots the vehicle.
Robin Page, senior vice-president of design at Volvo Cars, added: “Autonomous vehicle concepts have a tendency to become a technology showcase instead of a vision of how people use it.
“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.”
There are no concrete plans to put the 360c into production, with Volvo citing the concept as ‘a first yet deliberate step towards a broad discussion about the potential for autonomous driving technology to fundamentally change society in many ways.