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If this is the future of land transportation, we’re sold

The Volvo 360C is electric, autonomous and connected

It looks like a typical next-generation car on the outside. PHOTO FROM VOLVO

Traffic. Bad drivers. Work deadlines. All of these things conspire to make us hate driving. Be honest: When was the last time you really got excited about getting behind the wheel of your car? Probably not in the last year or so, right?

And if you’re thinking of flying, the experience isn’t exactly something to look forward to either—especially in the Philippines, where airport facilities and crowd management can be a traveler’s worst nightmare.

What to do?

Well, the Swedish automaker Volvo is proposing this, its new 360C all-electric, fully autonomous concept car.

We won’t be surprised if we see this car in a sci-fi movie. PHOTOS FROM VOLVO

Because this car is autonomous, it doesn’t need a driver. And because it doesn’t have a driver, it comes with high-tech connectivity and safety systems. Like the ability to detect and avoid crossing pedestrians on the road. And no, it will never get distracted like human chauffeurs often do.

Yes, the Volvo 360C respects pedestrian crosswalks. PHOTOS FROM VOLVO

What made Volvo conceptualize such a vehicle?

“The business will change in the coming years, and Volvo should lead that change of our industry,” Volvo president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson says in a press statement. “Autonomous drive will allow us to take the big next step in safety but also open up exciting new business models and allow consumers to spend time in the car doing what they want to do.”

And so, the 360C looks like a luxurious lounge inside. Yes, the car allows you to conduct meetings and socialize with friends on the road.

Why transfer to a bar when you can just party on the go? PHOTOS FROM VOLVO

One of the “new business models” Samuelsson is referring to is short-haul air travel. Volvo cites the fact that some 740 million travelers in the US alone got on domestic flights in 2017, sustaining a multibillion-dollar industry.

“Domestic air travel sounds great when you buy your ticket, but it really isn’t,” points out Volvo corporate strategy senior vice president Marten Levenstam. “The 360C represents what could be a whole new take on the industry. The sleeping cabin allows you to enjoy premium comfort and peaceful travel through the night and wake up refreshed at your destination. It could enable us to compete with the world’s leading aircraft makers.”

Imagine first-class travel—on land.

Because you can sleep, companies can’t foist their annoying billboards on you. It is safer this way. PHOTOS FROM VOLVO

Where you have your digital assistant eager to serve you.

‘Um, digital assistant, please block all calls from my pathetic ex-boyfriend. For real this time.’ PHOTOS FROM VOLVO

Damn. We can’t wait to ride the very first batch of truly futuristic cars. They’re coming. Be sure to book yourself a seat in one of those. (Be sure to take care of yourself and stay alive in the coming years is what we’re saying.)

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.