Volvo over-the-air updates pass 1 million mark, XC90 Recharge earns top safety rating from IIHS
Volvo announced that it has completed more than one million over-the-air software updates globally. Volvo’s 11th OTA program covered 350,000 cars worldwide and was its largest update ever. In the US, it allows owners to issue commands to their cars using their Google Assistant-enabled devices, so they can now say “warm up car to 74 degrees” on their phone and get into a comfortable car when it’s cold outside for a few minutes. Later.
They can also check the battery status or fuel level, check their vehicle’s charging status, and start or end a charging session. They can also say things like, “Hey Google, what’s in this update?” Volvo says it will add Google Assistant to cars in other markets in the near future and that the number of available commands will continue to grow.
In other markets, this latest update expands on Volvo’s Care Key technology, bringing integrated connectivity to tens of thousands of customers while fixing several software bugs and making a number of stability improvements to the Care Key system it introduced in 2021. It allows owners to set the top speed For the vehicle below the built-in limit. It is intended to give owners peace of mind when they loan the car to others or when they have a less experienced driver behind the wheel.
Another new feature is a good example of how Volvo uses customer feedback to improve its cars. Some customers have asked the company to make it easier to remove the paired device from the infotainment system. The latest software update adds a button to do precisely that.
“Over-the-air updates are a key technology that helps us achieve our ambition to continually improve our cars. It also reinforces our position as an industry leader when it comes to over-the-air vehicle software updates. Over-the-air updates also mean you no longer have to visit a workshop to get the latest software, which we think is rather convenient,” Volvo says in a press release.
This update applies to vehicles in 68 markets – 22 more than at the time of the previous update. It adds integrated connectivity in several European markets, including Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Iceland. This enhancement provides customers with seamless connectivity, as their data plan is now integrated into their car’s SIM card.
“Thanks to over-the-air updates and fast-growing in-house software development, we can create and deploy new features as well as improve the customer experience much faster than before. Launching actions controlled by “Google Assistant is evidence of our commitment to providing our customers with a better car every day, adding more convenience and peace of mind.”
IIHS Top Safety Pick + Awards for Volvo
Yesterday, we reported on the latest crash test results and safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They’ve been hitting cars with battering rams since 2003 to see how well they protect drivers and passengers in a crash. They also developed dummies equipped with advanced equipment to study the effects these accidents are likely to have on drivers and passengers, including women and young children.
This year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) upped its crash tests to reflect the fact that vehicles today are heavier than they were in 2003 — in fact, about a third heavier. The organization also decided that to qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, cars must now include an automatic emergency braking feature that recognizes pedestrians in the dark, not just in daylight. Last year, approximately 101 vehicles qualified for the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. This year, only 48 people did so, and only 28 qualified for the Top Safety Pick+ award. The Volvo XC90 and XC90 Recharge both won Top Safety Pick+.
This gave Volvo something to be proud of. In a press release, she said that as part of Volvo Cars’ vision that no one should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo, the company has put safety at the heart of everything it does. “The Volvo XC90 continues to prove, year after year, that it is among the safest vehicles on the road,” said Asa Haglund, Head of Safety Center at Volvo Cars.
The company indicated that the testing protocols were revised this year and that the new standard increases the amount of energy in the side collision test by 82 percent. Forty percent is attributable to the heavier ram, which now weighs 4,300 pounds, rather than the 3,000-pound ram used in previous years. This added an additional 40 percent energy to each collision. In addition, the ram’s speed was increased from 31 mph to 37 mph. This change adds an additional 42 percent power to the equation.
Under the new testing protocol, a vehicle needs to earn a “Good” rating in the side impact test to qualify for a Top Safety Pick Plus rating. Less cars only need to have an “Acceptable” rating to receive the standard Top Safety Pick rating. The XC90 Hybrid and XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid both earned Top Safety Pick+. Both cars also passed the new nighttime pedestrian safety requirement that was added to testing protocols this year.
In addition to award-winning safety, the XC90 Recharge offers up to 35 miles of all-electric driving in pure mode. However, Volvo Cars has made sustainability as important as safety, and has announced plans to sell only fully electric cars by 2030. The company says it aims to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Volvo has built its reputation on safety. Its cars from the 1960s and 1970s had all the elegance and style of a shipping container (except for the delicious P1800) but did a great job of protecting the people inside in the event of an accident. Henry Ford II said safety doesn’t sell, but Volvo has proven time and time again that people are willing to pay premium prices for luxury cars that make safety a top priority. And it doesn’t hurt that the company’s current offerings please the eye with a sleek, thoroughly contemporary design.
Some well-known models like the Tesla Model 3 did not make the cut this year. Although the Model Y was one of those 28 models to receive the coveted Plus rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says it has tightened its procedures because manufacturers have gone too far in meeting the old standard that nearly every car tested earn at least a Top Safety Pick rating. IIHS hopes the changes it made this year will spur the industry to design and build better, safer cars in the future.
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