Volvo says it is developing high bandwidth streaming capabilities with its technology partner, Ericsson, ahead of the introduction of autonomous cars.

"We recently unveiled our design vision for fully-autonomous cars with Concept 26," said Volvo Monitoring & Concept Centre general manager, Anders Tylman. "Now we are working on future solutions to deliver the best user experience in fully autonomous mode.

"Imagine a highway full of autonomous cars with their occupants sitting back watching their favourite TV shows in high definition. This new way of commuting will demand new technology, and a much broader bandwidth."

Volvo and Ericsson note an increased need for consistent and high-bandwidth coverage outside densely populated areas such as city centres and suburbs.

"Our research shows almost 70% of all mobile data traffic will be from video in the coming years," said Ericsson head of automotive services, Claes Herlitz.

"This requires an innovative connectivity, cloud and analytics solution that is not only capable of serving multiple moving vehicles across a highway, but also has the capacity to provide the high quality, uninterrupted video service today's consumer is accustomed to." 

By learning the most common routes and times of travel, as well as understanding media preferences, Volvo maintains cars will be able to provide one-click navigation and a customised preference based list of potential media, allowing drivers to choose routes and select content tailored to the amount of autonomous time available during their commute.

"If you want to watch the latest episode of your favourite series, the car will know how long the journey needs to take and can optimise the route and driving control accordingly," added Tylman.

"With autonomous drive it is no longer just a question of just getting from A to B quickly – it's about the experience you wish to have in the car – how you wish to spend the time you are saving."