Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Car reveals are, naturally, always a big deal at auto shows.

But a seat?

Yes, while many car makers were introducing their new metal at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volvo unveiled a seat, a steering wheel and a dash – one it is pitching as a time machine.

Bloomberg

Sitting in the seat won’t take you back or ahead in time, but Volvo hopes it will free up time. Concept 26 is an interior design concept showing what Volvo believes drivers will want with autonomous cars in the not-so-distant future. Volvo decided not to go with the swivel seats in futuristic concepts like the Mercedes-Benz F 015 and chose to focus on a single person commuting to work. There isn’t much need to spin the seat around because Volvo says most people don’t want to face backward anyway.

Bloomberg

The 26 in the name comes from Volvo research that shows the average American spends 26 minutes driving to work one way. If the concept were made just for Toronto residents it would be called Concept 33.

The concept comes with three mostly self-explanatory modes: drive, create and relax. Drive is for when you want to drive, and yes, Volvo believes there will be times when people want to drive. Create should really be called work as the seat, 25-inch screen and ‘tablet’ in the centre console are positioned for doing work. And relax reclines the seat further so you can catch up on Globe and Mail videos or other favourite shows.

“Our research clearly shows that some people will want to use their commuting time creatively when they have full autonomous drive available,” says Robin Page, vice-president of interior design at Volvo, in a statement. “Others will want to just sit back and relax, watch online media or listen to music.”

While Google is envisioning the future without a steering wheel, Volvo is looking at the near future and its research shows most people don’t feel comfortable in a car without a wheel.

“We have gone to great lengths to understand the challenges and opportunities that autonomous cars will bring to people in coming years,” says Peter Mertens, senior vice-president of research and development at Volvo Car Group, in a statement. “Our flexible approach to engineering and design, enabled by our new Scalable Product Architecture, means that we can readily bring this from concept to reality.”

Getty Images

Volvo is already running a self-driving pilot program in Sweden and real roads, but until now most companies, including Volvo, have been focused on the technology in the car rather than how the occupants will interact with the car while in transport.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Add us to your circles

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Latest Videos

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies