Considering its reputation for building the world’s safest cars, Volvo, you’d assume, will be least likely to introduce anything that distracts a driver into its cars. So, we were naturally surprised when we saw the press announcement from the Swedish automaker about integration of Skype into its 90 Series cars.
But reading on, our concerns were soon dispelled as we found that it was not the communication platform’s video chatting abilities that have found their way into the Volvo vehicles.
In fact, Volvo goes t great lengths in explaining how this collaborative effort with Microsoft could help reduce driver distraction.
“We’ve all been there. Sitting in the car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble with or drop your phone while trying to connect or you forget the long pin code to join. It’s not the best way to start an important call in the car. On top of all that your attention is not where it should be – on the road. With the addition of Skype for Business all that goes away,” says Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, vice president, Consumer Connectivity Services at Volvo Car Group.
Apparently, Skype for Business will help car owners do away with the long menu options and trying to get the phone connected to the car, as the app is preloaded into the car and always on stand-by.
Volvo says owners of 90 Series cars can now view their upcoming meetings and participant details, and join meetings with just one click via the large centre display. Well, even if this isn’t a video chat facility, we believe anything that requires you to take your eyes off the road even for a few seconds is distracting and potentially dangerous.
It’s a different matter altogether in autonomous cars, but we’re still a good few years away from such machines being legal and fool-proof. So our suggestion is keep work-related calls for when you’re not driving, even if it’s a Skype-enabled Volvo.