Volvo is slowly releasing more and more information about the 2015 Volvo XC90 crossover, and this week’s revelations concern the XC90’s new infotainment system. Volvo calls it Sensus, and it was developed with help from both Swedish tech company Ericsson and from Apple and its new CarPlay technology.
The main element of this new Sensus system is the huge, centrally-mounted touchscreen that’s meant to operate like a tablet. This interface replaces nearly all buttons on the center stack, and can be used even with gloves on because infrared sensors augment the touch sensitive surface. The basic setup centers around four so-called “tiles” that show navigation, media, telephone, and climate information in descending order. Each tile can be expanded individually, but the remaining tiles are always visible in a compressed form. The system also shows various notifications in thin bands at the top of each tile, much like on many smartphones.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 will also offer Apple’s new CarPlay technology which allows for mirroring of iOS displays like iPhones and iPads on the car’s touchscreen. Apple icons for apps like phone, music, and navigation will display on the touchscreen and will integrate with various smartphone functions. Independent of CarPlay, the Volvo system will also use some cloud-based applications like internet radio, music streaming services, and restaurant search apps.
Other interior displays in the 2015 Volvo XC90 include an adaptive, fully-digital instrument cluster with various configurations, and a head-up display. Both of these screens can show a wide variety of information and are meant to complement the main touchscreen so the driver doesn’t have to take his or her eyes off the road as often. As expected, the entire system can also be controlled by steering wheel buttons and voice commands while driving.