Baltimore, Maryland, United States
For the last few years, Volvo has set up an art display in the Zurich, Switzerland central train station called the Volvo Art Session, allowing select artists - both established and up-and-coming - to create temporary exhibits with one of Volvo's products acting as the centerpiece. This year, six artists from across Europe converged in Zurich to turn a 2014 Volvo XC60 into a work of art.
Each started with a blank white canvas, creating a massive display in what Volvo says is one of the busiest covered public places in Europe, and after each was done, it was all erased for the next artists to come in and do his or her thing. While some made the XC60 a focal point in the art, others made the crossover seemingly disappear. We have a gallery of all six finished pieces, but if you want to see background of the artists or time-lapse videos of their works, head over to VolvoArtSessions.com. This site also shows the exhibits from the prior two years, and a press release can be found below.
In an attempt to help push vehicle safety to a higher level, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety created a stricter Top Safety Pick+ rating last year, which incorporates a brutal small overlap test and requires cars to get Good ratings in four out of the five categories (and no less than Acceptable in the fifth). Joining the list of the safest cars of 2013, the 2013 Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKZ, Honda Civic (sedan and coupe) and the 2014 Mazda6 have all received the coveted TSP+ rating.
The Mazda6 and Lincoln MKZ have both been completely redesigned, and both received Acceptable ratings in the small overlap test. The Honda Civic, coming off its emergency refresh for 2013, is the first small car to be subjected to the small overlap test, and IIHS says that one of the car's many upgrades includes a stiffer front structure allowing it to receive Good ratings in all categories. Similarly, the XC60 gets all Good ratings thanks to, according to IIHS, Volvo updating the airbag software allowing the side airbags to inflate during the small overlap test.
The 2014 Subaru Forester has not yet been subjected to the small overlap test, so it must make do with just a Top Safety Pick rating until the IIHS tests small utility vehicles, which is expected to happen later in the spring.
Volvo cites research showing that 60 percent of online shoppers had problems with their deliveries in 2013, and that missed first deliveries cost the industry roughly one billion euros ($1.37B US) in re-delivery costs, as impetus for its "Roam Delivery Service" that delivers packages to your car. The service uses Volvo On Call and Sensus Connect car-connectivity and telematics apps already installed in vehicles, and a digital key with a timed window of operation.
The car owner is notified if delivery to or pickup from the car would be the best option, which they then have the option to approve or decline. If approved, the position of the vehicle is sent to the delivery driver, as well as a digital key that can open the car. Once the delivery has been made, the owner is notified and the digital key is erased, leaving only a time stamp to record when the car was opened and then locked.
The technology will be shown to the public at the Mobile World Congress later this month. There's a video and a press release below with more on the details.