Volvo Cars

The Future of Driving in Volvo's C26

The Client

Volvo cars is a prestigious luxury auto brand with a remarkable reputation for engineering safe cars — and they deliver. The Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Camarillo, California, is where the Swedish-based company measures the pulse and generates concepts for the largest automotive market on the planet — the United States.

My Role

During my two years with Volvo's remote concept development team, I participated in consumer research and expectations around autonomous driving, in what I considered to be a truly holistic 'User Experience Design' role. Few customer experiences are as complete as the notion of providing end to end driver services that include an encompassing atmosphere for a 'driver' to be in while their car drives itself to the driver's destination. I was privileged to work with Volvo's brilliant design team to develop a vision for how Volvo would provide end-to-end driver service, connecting the driver's experience and connectivity from mobile apps, to analog driving mode, autonomous destination selection and confirmation, and working from the provided widescreen display offered to the driver while in autonomous mode.

The Project was introduced to the world at the LA auto show in November 2015 as C26, an allusion to the estimated 26 minutes average commute time that a driver would be given back through autonomous driving technology. I was tasked with providing visual explorations for how Volvo could communicate the time saved, and empower driver's with tools to optimize it, utilizing integrated apps and Apple watch capabilities.


How do we provide the safest, most enjoyable experience possible in an autonomous vehicle?


One of the themes that survived the multi-year life of this concept from start to finish, is the 'metamorphosis' the Volvo team wanted to provide the distinguished driver of an autonomous vehicle. We believed that in the infancy stages of autonomous driving, drivers would absolutely still want to experience the joy of driving, especially on an open road. The solution presented in c26 is one in which a driver could delegate driving to the vehicle while stuck in LA traffic, and take back the wheel when wanting to engage as a driver again. During autonomous mode, the driver is given the option to flip the passenger-side dashboard into a widescreen viewing experience, with gesture control at hand.

What’s next?