This teaser image has us stumped.
See this? Looks like a phone, right? Only Volvo says it isn't.
The Swedish automaker released this image via social media yesterday showing what looks like a smartphone resting on the seats of one of its cars as a teaser for whatever it has in store for the LA Auto Show that's opening next week. It didn't say much else aside from the words “this is not a phone” displayed on the screen in Volvo's signature font, accompanied only by the tags #FutureIsMobility and #AutoMobilityLA. Just what it's supposed to mean, though, is a bit of a mystery.
Our best guess is that the automaker intends to give new purpose to the smartphone and how it interacts with its vehicles and how they're used. So when the show opens, we could see some sort of new app, or some manner of new mobility service, like car-sharing, ride-hailing, or a new feature for its recently launched Care by Volvo subscription service.
As to what that might be, exactly, is anyone's guess. But automakers like Volvo are working to transform themselves from mere manufacturers of automobiles to providers of more comprehensive mobility solutions.
In addition to whatever out-of-the-box mobility services Volvo might be cooking up, it's been rolling out a completely fresh lineup over the past couple of years. Since launching the new XC90 in 2014, Volvo has followed up with the new S90 sedan and V90 wagon; the new S60, V60, and XC60 in the middle, and the XC40 at the bottom. It's expected to be working on a new S40 and V40 to join them, but however little can be gleaned from the teaser image, we gather that's not what it has in store for LA. So we'll just have to wait and see.