Geely-owned Volvo Cars has announced that it will introduce “Skype for Business”, Microsoft’s collaborative productivity app, to its new 90 Series cars.
Volvo Cars claims it is the first carmaker to launch such an in-car productivity tool.
“We’ve all been there. Sitting in the car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble with or drop your phone while trying to connect or you forget the long pin code to join. It’s not the best way to start an important call in the car. On top of all that your attention is not where it should be – on the road. With the addition of Skype for Business all that goes away,” said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz Vice President Consumer Connectivity Services at Volvo Car Group.
Skype for Business is actively used by millions of people at work around the globe. In Volvo’s 90 Series cars people will be able to view their upcoming meetings and participant details, and join meetings with one click via the large centre display.
“Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer. With the dawn of autonomous cars we see a future where flexible in-car productivity tools will enable people to reduce time spent in the office. This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in the car,” said Tylman-Mikiewicz.
Volvo’s partnership with Microsoft also includes the exploration of using Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, with the express intention of adding seamless voice recognition and contextual insights to support peoples’ daily lives by actively predicting their needs.
“Volvo Cars is leading the way in its recognition that the nature of work is increasingly mobile. People need to be productive from anywhere – including their cars,” said Ben Canning, Director of Product Management for Skype for Business at Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to extend modern meetings to Volvo cars.”
“In-car communication is something that we have worked with for years at Volvo. From the built-in handsets of the 1980s and early 90s through to our standard Bluetooth hands-free functionality, we have understood the importance of making life easier for people on the move while keeping a firm focus on safety and minimising driver distraction,” added Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz.