Dubbed the Concept You, this prototypical luxury sedan is packed to the gills with technology. The control centre consists of a digital Driver Information centre (aka a dashboard), a Heads-Up Display that projects onto the front windshield, two large touchscreens — one on the centre console, the other between the rear seats, and two smaller screens on the aluminium and glass shifter paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
The main screen, the one on the centre console, activates just by looking at it. Granted it’s just a hidden infrared camera that registers the driver’s eye movement but that’s still pretty slick — though I’d find myself constantly trying to catch a glimpse of the screen before it turns on. And, rather than the unholy input puck of the BMW iDrive, the Concept You registers hand movements to turn on the system’s control mode. The front passenger can also use gesture activation but the menu options will differ from those offered to the driver.
“Certain functions, such as surfing the web, are only accessible from the passenger side while the car is rolling. The technology knows who is the present operator and adapts itself automatically,” said Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation.
Data can even be transferred from the main screen to the HUD or back to the rear depending on the direction the driver “flips” it.
The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show runs from September 15 to September 25, 2011.