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Volvo unveils tabletlike touchscreen for 2015 XC90

Nine-inch screen similar to one in Tesla Model S; uses “tiles” to access main functions.

By Douglas Newcomb Feb 28, 2014 9:31AM

Volvo touchscreen interface. Photo by Volvo.Love or hate ‘em, slick tablet-like touchscreens in car dashboard aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, despite initial problems with the MyFord Touch and Cadillac CUE systems, touchscreens that mimic tablets like the iPad continue to proliferate.

Now Volvo is joining the act with a large touchscreen that's more similar to the 17-inch display in the Tesla Model S. According to Wired, the new Volvo screen measures just 9 inches diagonally. But as in the Model S — and unlike other large dashboard displays like, say, the 10.2-inch non-touchscreen in the BMW 7-Series — it’s situated vertically in the center stack rather than horizontally.

Although Volvo’s new long, longitudinal display uses four main “tiles” to make it easier for drivers to find what they're looking for, the interface also includes a big ol’ volume knob as well as several switches at the bottom.

Those tiles — which expand to fill the screen when touched — each correspond to a key function, including navigation, media and telephone. Above the tiles is a “thin notification band” for climate controls. Similar to other tabletlike in-dash interfaces, the Volvo display allows for swiping and pinching functions.

“This goes far beyond just putting a large tablet in the center of the dashboard,” Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president of design for Volvo, said in a statement. “We have created a digital environment that is fully integrated in the car.”

Ingenlath said that menus for information, navigation and media “are high up and easy to keep an eye on," while the controls for phone functions, application and climate controls are located lower and are “comfortable to reach and touch.” Also easy to reach is a large knurled volume knob with a play/pause button positioned at the bottom of the screen, with skip back/forward switches on either side. The in-dash interface also works in conjunction with a new digital instrument panel as well as steering-wheel controls and voice recognition.

Volvo instrument panel interface. Photo by Volvo.

The new infotainment interface will appear in the Volvo Concept Estate set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week. It will also appear in the new XC90 crossover set to hit dealers’ lots later this year.

[Source: Volvo]
Mar 2, 2014 11:51AM

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