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Technology to the fore at Volvo Pavilion



Following a tandem trailer hauling logs, livestock or thousands of litres of milk on New Zealand roads leads one to thoughts of long hours of hard work at the wheel. It ain’t so if the prime mover is a Volvo truck.


Visitors to the Volvo Pavilion at the Volvo Ocean Village can examine and try out the sophisticated technology that brings fingertip precision and vibration-free comfort to the task of big truck driving.


The display is part of a fascinating digital-driven assortment that shows how Volvo introduces technology to work and play.


Visitors who use the Volvo Ocean Race app to track and follow all aspects of the round the world competition on their phone or digital pad will be thrilled to see the app running on a flat table screen the size of their dinner table at home. What’s more it’s lightning fast.


For something more dynamic, take a seat in a rugged digger simulator. Grasp the joysticks and push the pedals in an actual cutaway digger cab and see how many digital rocks you can scoop into a Volvo hauler on the screen in front of you. The machine bucks, rocks and vibrates, shaking the floor with every move.


There’s no comparison between twin-engine docking of an on-screen powerboat using just engine controls and the same task using a sophisticated Volvo Penta joystick. With the joystick the boat quietly shuffles sideways into a restricted area with just a few intuitive twists and flicks of the single control.


To see the affect of video games on the young generation, watch adults and kids racing a digital sailboat through a complex 3D race course. Seven and eight-year olds steer intuitively with small movements and anticipate turns. Adult sailors do well but the average Joe and Jane Public oversteers wildly, sometimes even missing marks.


A champagne toast to technology comes in a video showing a giant digger equipped with heavy metal calipers as it places glasses for a pyramid forming a classic champagne fountain. With the stack complete it pops corks and pours to set the bubbles flowing.


More awaits outside, trialling a self-parking Volvo sedan, clambering through the cab of a monster truck and testing your skill at placing objects with an actual digger.


To wrap it all up, go back into the Pavilion to experience full immersion virtual reality while wearing an enveloping headset that insulates you from the watching crowds. You’ll find yourself inside a cool white Scandinavian room while a Volvo XC90 assembles itself around you before you find yourself in the Swedish archipelago viewing the Northern Lights. A shooting star points the way to the future.