Real Consumers to Test Self-Driving Volvo Fleet by 2017


Self-driving cars appear to be one step closer to the average Joe. Volvo aims to put consumers — not engineers or professional drivers — behind the wheel of a test fleet of self-driving XC90 SUVs in Sweden by 2017. Part of the automaker's "Drive Me" initiative, the project will deploy 100 autonomous cars on select roads near Volvo's headquarters in suburban Gothenburg, Sweden.

Related: Dude, Where's My Self-Driving Car? Experts Discuss Viability

The company already has several self-driving prototypes on the road around Gothenburg equipped with its Autopilot technology. It's hardly the first foray into self-driving vehicles, but Volvo research and development chief Peter Mertens called the consumer deployment the "world's first large-scale pilot" of its kind.

By Kelsey Mays | February 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

Semi-Autonomous Driving Systems Emphasize Safety


There are those out there who fear that semi-autonomous driving technology will ultimately lead to lazy drivers. While I certainly understand the argument, the truth is I don't have laser eyes in the back of my head (don't tell my kids). In some instances, these systems can see more and react faster than humans can. And, while much of this technology is still in its infancy, if it prevents a tragedy on the road with my own family, it's hard to argue against it.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Leading the way in autonomous and semi-autonomous driving is Volvo, which, believe it or not, has a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles on the road currently in Sweden. The automaker is taking what it's learning in that living lab and applying it to semi-autonomous driving technology in its cars here in the U.S.

The new XC90, for example, can completely avoid several different types of crashes without human intervention: front collisions with other cars, pedestrians and cyclists at certain speeds as well as intersection auto braking to avoid a crash from oncoming traffic while turning through an intersection. The XC90 also has autonomous steering that works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control to help fill in the blanks if, for example, a distracted parent turns to check on a child in the backseat. These systems are helping Volvo get closer to its safety goal of no human killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020.

By Kristin Varela | January 14, 2015 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90 Video

Volvo's large SUV was last redesigned 12 years ago; for 2016 the XC90 — debuting at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show — is all new with a plug-in gas-electric hybrid powertrain. reviewer Kelsey Mays says the new XC90 should be worth the wait.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Inside, Mays says the new XC90 has a cabin full of high quality materials and one of the biggest touch-screens in the industry. Check out the video for more.

Watch on YouTube


By Jennifer Geiger | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90 Photo Gallery (33 Photos)


Save for the instantly identifiable diagonal crosspiece logo that is Volvo's trademark, the 2016 XC90 three-row crossover injects some new flare into the Swedish automaker's familiar design. Updated cues include a waterfall grille with vertical bars, T-shaped daytime running lights Volvo likens to Thor's hammer and slightly ridic 22-inch wheels.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Also departing from garden-variety Volvo style, the seven-seat cabin has a horizontal, stacked dashboard. Other interior features include a crystal shifter, a leather-covered dash and a Bowers & Wilkins premium stereo with an air-ventilated subwoofer.

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90: Up Close


The 2016 Volvo XC90 is one of Volvo's first steps in reviving the Swedish brand in the U.S., which has seen declining sales during the past 10 years. Volvo's new XC90 — debuting at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show — could very well change how the general public views Volvo vehicles given the luxurious experience inside the all-new seven-passenger SUV.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage 

The seven-passenger XC90 is littered with high-quality materials that would look right at home inside a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, combined with technology including a massive touch-screen that wouldn't look out of place in a concept car — think Tesla-Model-S-touch-screen big.

By Joe Bruzek | November 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 L.A. Auto Show: What to Expect


If you like luxury vehicles, SUVs or sports cars — and even luxury SUVs that perform like sports cars — you're gonna love the lineup of debuts at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. Organizers say there will be 60 premieres, 30 of them global and nearly two-thirds will be luxury and performance offerings.

More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News

Set to bow at the 107-year-old event — the last major auto show of the calendar year and the first of the new auto-show season — are a host of SUVs, from compact crossovers to midsize models. Performance coupes, convertibles and sedans also abound from automakers ranging from Scion to Cadillac.

And perhaps fitting for the Southern California city famed for its air of affluence, nearly half of the anticipated entrees on our list of what to watch for are from luxury automakers. Among those are SUVs and sports cars from the likes of Audi and BMW. Moreover, during the Connected Car Expo on Nov. 18, Volvo's "Drive Me" autonomous vehicle will make its North American debut, at which time executives will discuss the automaker's driverless technology.

Here's what we'll be looking for as covers the L.A. auto show from the event floor:

By Matt Schmitz | November 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90: First Look


Competes with: Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60

Looks like: Sleeker elements meet the same upright profile

Drivetrain: 320-hp, supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder or 400-hp (est.), supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder with plug-in electric motor; available all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

After a protracted rollout that included a reveal of the interior and details on powertrains, Volvo finally unveiled the next-generation XC90's exterior. It's all here, now, and much of it reads like a concept car. But so did the original XC90, which debuted gyroscopic rollover detection and was among the first SUVs with three-row side curtain airbags.

Related: Porsche, Hyundai Top New J.D. Power Study, Volvo and Mitsubishi Sink

That was more than 12 years ago.

This new XC90 gets some all-new tech in the safety arena like you'd expect from a Volvo but it may be the powertrain and interior opulence that woos luxury shoppers.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2014 | Comments (11)

Volvo Reveals Interior of Next XC90 (20 Photos)


Witness Volvo's unveiling of the next XC90, a step-by-step dissemination that evokes Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" miniseries trilogy. First up is the interior, which the automaker unveiled today. Volvo will follow up in the coming weeks with tidbits on safety and "interior air quality" (yes, really), with chassis and powertrain information in July and a full exterior reveal in August.

Related: Volvo Tackles Inflatable Child-Safety Seat

From the images, it appears the new XC90 trades on simple forms and a horizontal dashboard layout. It also ditches the thin waterfall center stack that's characterized Volvos during the past decade. Front and center is a large center touch-screen with a lot of integrated capacitive controls — concerning, given we've never warmed up to such interfaces — but large swaths of the upper dash and center console area employ upscale stitching.

By Kelsey Mays | May 27, 2014 | Comments (8)

Which Vehicles Offer Integrated Booster Seats?


It seems like a smart move for automakers to offer integrated child-safety seats in cars, but only two manufacturers currently provide integrated booster seats as an option: Volvo and Dodge. Of those manufacturers, only certain models in their lineups have the available integrated booster seat feature.

Are Built-In Boosters Worth the Extra Cost?

What is an integrated booster seat? It's a booster that pops up out of the rear seat's bench, raising the child up to create a better fit for the seat belt. When the booster is not in use, it can be stowed into the seat's bench. This feature is great if it fits your child properly, as the integrated safety seat is made specifically for that vehicle. A secondary benefit of the integrated booster is it will not be at risk of becoming a projectile in a collision.

By Sara Lacey | May 9, 2014 | Comments (4)

Volvo Announces Pricing on 2014 Lineup


Volvo announced pricing this week for its 2014 lineup, across which exterior updates and technological enhancements have been made. Powertrains carry over from the previous year and include the 250-horsepower T5; 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder; 300-hp, turbocharged T6; and the Swedish automaker's most powerful engine, the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which makes 325 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Click on each of the models for details on what’s changed for 2014 on the S60 sedan, S80 sedan, XC70 wagon and XC60 compact SUV; the XC90 SUV continues virtually unchanged.

New offerings for the 2014 model year include the Adaptive Digital TFT Display instrument cluster that allows drivers to choose between three themes — Elegance, Eco and Performance — all with different configurations and functionality, Volvo stated. New paddle shifters, coupled with the automaker's Advanced Quick Shift transmission-optimization software, are said to improve the speed of each gear change, increasing zero-to-60-mph times by as much as 0.4 seconds on some models. Safety equipment debuting for 2014 includes pedestrian and cyclist detection with full auto brake, cross-traffic alert and a new radar-based blind spot monitoring system.

By Matt Schmitz | August 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

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