More than 33 years after the popular American TV show Knight Rider showed David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff talking to his car, KITT, Volvo and Microsoft are launching a wearable-enabled voice-control system.
Volvo owners will be able to talk to their car via their Microsoft Band 2, allowing them to instruct their vehicle to perform tasks including setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app, Volvo on Call, and the connected wearable device.
In November 2015, Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. HoloLens is the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, which could be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy their car. Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2 as another proof-point in their ambition to jointly develop next-generation automotive technologies.
“Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. With voice control, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities.”
Said Thomas Müller, Vice President Electrics/Electronics and E-Propulsion at Volvo Car Group. In recent times, Volvo Cars has begun to focus closely on innovations outside the traditional automotive arena, keen on opening up potential partnerships and new business models.
“When innovating, we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. If a technology does not make a customer’s life easier, better, safer or more fun, we don’t use it. Let’s face it – who hasn’t dreamed of talking to their car via a wrist-worn wearable?”
Said Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President and Group Chief Information Officer at Volvo Car Group. Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of business development at Microsoft added,
“Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground-breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience. Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”
The new possibility to connect to a Volvo with voice control through Microsoft Band 2 will be available for customers in Volvo on Call-enabled markets in spring 2016.