New Volvo operating system Smooth and well

Smooth and well

From more than 40 buttons on eight: Volvo has the operating system for infotainment, navigation and vehicle functions radically restructured. Now it is even more intuitive than an Apple iPad to work.

An ambience like cut out from a magazine for exclusive Scandinavian design furniture: Clean lines, elegant swings and finest materials adorn the interior of the Volvo Concept Estate, which the Swedes at the Geneva Motor Show ( until March 16 show ). Some of it may be the usual variety of concept cars, the central eye-catcher but serious: The ten-inch touch screen, framed by a black piano lacquer, embedded in the airy-looking dashboard, with only a few additional buttons comes with the new luxury-class SUV at the latest beginning of 2015 to the market.

The Swedes have properly cleaned up and disposed of more than three-quarters of the previous buttons: from around 40 only eight switches are left. The central round, pretty shaped knob adjusts music volume and play / pause, there is one switch each for the choice of songs, back and front and rear window heater, one for hazard warning system, parking assistant. Plus the central "home" button under the touch screen.

Users of iPhone or iPad will be familiar to this key. With it, you can always come right back to the starting point, the so-called "Home " screen. So it is with Volvo. But the new " Head Unit " of Sweden to be more than a converted tablet. It is more intuitive to use than the iPad, it 's Thomas Mueller, vice president of Volvo electronics division, is convinced. " Of course this is a trend that has emerged in the entertainment industry in recent years. " But Volvo has adapted to the touch screen with gesture control to the driving task.

Touch screens in cars are of course not a new invention. But while the systems previously responded either very slow or on their touch surfaces again counterfeit buttons, for example, plus and minus to zoom in and out wore, the new system of Sweden responded with a first short test at the Geneva concept car is not only fast, but also convinces by an extremely simple menu structure.

There are three main screens: the "Home " view, which reach the right Volvo Apps, by which you can go to the Internet, to the left, the vehicle functions, each with a short mop on the touchscreen. On the "Home" View Media, Navigation and Phone arranged vertically for quick access, a fourth place can be freely assigned. At the bottom you will access the air conditioning functions. You are always fixed and thus customer-friendly: No matter what screen you are in, they can always reach immediately and does not have to dig for reducing the temperature through the menu. A tap on the number of degrees and the finger operated a virtual slider.

" The menu structure is adapted to the driving task, which was very important to us ," says Müller. " You must be able to achieve the things accurate while driving. " Quick Access instead of troublesome be - by - list scroll. Its experts have achieved primarily by exploiting the two-dimensionality of the screen a flat menu structure. "If you look at the competitors that have a rotary push-button control, then the list is based essentially one-dimensional ," he can not resist a little dig at the competition.

Even operation have redesigned the Sweden. " When you have iPad relatively common operating errors, it is not very precise ," says Müller. "But on the couch she can also jump back and correct times. The car will drive you crazy if you make a mistake all the time. " How the touch screen on grand gestures such as wipe, scroll, and select which are to ensure that the driver is not distracted.

With the new operating system to adapt to customer needs will come on the market: the integration of the iPhone (5 and higher). Together with Mercedes and Ferrari, Volvo had recently announced the integration of Apple's " Carplay ". This feature you can lay the new touch screen, for example, on the fourth level of "home" view. Once touched, iPhone apps are displayed that Apple is currently freely available for use in the car, for example telephone, music or navigation.

The interface is implemented at Volvo, Apple releases them - other corporations to follow soon - and a cable connecting the device is connected. In order for the car manufacturers take the customer's account to be able to use their smartphone and the associated apps integrated everywhere. A Radioapp the phone overruled then, for example, the car radio. The fact that the smartphone one day the head unit will replace Thomas Müller does not believe: "It's a good addition. Especially in Einstiegssegement this can be a way to get a basic connectivity to the vehicle. "

For the future, there are various options to link its Volvo cars. There's the basic version, which is operated by a slightly smaller touch screen. Here you have to use the iPhone as a hotspot to go into the net, then it also functions as an inexpensive navigation ready. Who wants it more comfortable, selects the large touch screen with Internet and Volvo apps, available with or without navigation - " Home Sweet Home " feeling included.