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by Tim Beissmann

Volvo’s new cloud-based Sensus Connect connectivity system will allow drivers to find and pay for parking from their car, pre-heat or pre-cool their car remotely, and quickly access Wikipedia and tens of thousands of digital radio stations.

Debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sensus Connect will be available in all Volvo model overseas from May, and Volvo Australia is hopeful of rolling out elements of the updated system in select models before the end of the year.

Fundamental to the operation of Sensus Connect is the vehicle’s connectivity hardware, which comprises a rooftop antenna and embedded 3G modem, in-car WiFi hotspot, and car-to-infrastructure communication nodes, as well as smartphone tethering via WiFi and Bluetooth. Central to the system is the upgraded human-machine interface, with graphically themed centre and driver displays, and voice control and text-to-speech technologies.

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‘Park&Pay’ is a world-first integrated solution for finding and paying for parking from within a vehicle, and is made possible by bringing together many of Sensus Connect’s new components.

Other features linked to navigation include an upgraded mapping system with lifetime updates; Yelp, for information on local services like restaurants; Glympse, for dynamic location sharing; Send to Car, allowing owners to find a destination on their phone and send it to the car’s navigation system; and Wikipedia, for enriched points of interest information.

Sensus Connect also integrates Pandora, TuneIn, Rdio and Stitcher applications for internet radio and podcast streaming.

The system takes traditional in-car functions out of the vehicle, allowing owners to remotely start their car and adjust its climate control settings via an app on their smartphones.

The ‘connected service booking’ function allows the system to book the car in for an appointment at a Volvo dealership when it knows a service is due.




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