Volvo has announced that it will introduce Skype for Business to its new 90 Series cars. The Swedish automaker claims that they are the first automaker 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 (now owned by Microsoft) is actively used by millions of people at work around the world. 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 Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz.
Volvo’s partnership with Microsoft also includes the exploration of using Cortana – Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant – into Volvo cars to improve voice recognition and add some of the personal assistant’s “contextual insights” to the driving experience. We presume this means something like recognizing that you’re driving to work and suggesting a better route due to traffic.
“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.”
Volvo didn’t mention when Skype for Business will be available in their new 90 Series cars, but when it does, there’s a good chance that it will be available as a software update to the existing 90 Series cars too!