Safety in cars in this modern day is a question of how the technology is made, is about engineering. It is dependent on the sensors, software, and hinges on the vehicle which differentiates use experience. Volvo is synonymous with safety, how can it convince its customers which the technology itself is not completely developed. It is taking the traditional IPO path, in contrast to its spin-off sibling Polestar going public through a merger with the blank check company.
Polestar’s approach does seem to help distinguish Volvo’s steps as the more cautionary leader in safety. Also, it sets up Volvo for differentiation, while also giving access to the latest innovations proved out on Polestar models. Thomas Stovicek, head of UX for Volvo said, “I think what we’re seeing is a transformation of the industry like we did in the mobile industry some time ago, where new capabilities, new possibilities, new sensors are coming in, so I think it’s a really interesting area,”
Then added, “At the same time, that can provide a lot of complexity for the user, so when we talk about user experience we very often talk about ease of use for a customer and understanding problems when you put it in the environment in a car.”
But even Volvo being a brand with the tag “vanguard for safety” can have certain setbacks. Because modern vehicle safety extends beyond the car, it is about the vast amounts of data required to operate vehicle systems. Friday, Volvo announced that some of its research and development data were being stolen in a security breach. The company addressed safety concerns in a statement, “Volvo does not see, with currently available information, that this has an impact on the safety or security of its customers’ cars or their personal data.”
Polestar charts a different course when it defines corporate identity, Volvo is “safety and autonomy-centric” whereas Polestar is “technology and performance-centric.” Volvo is also “safe and responsible” and Polestar is “sustainable and progressive.”
A Polestar spokesperson wrote in an email, “Polestar is and will be the technology leader for the larger Group. A good example already in-market is the Google infotainment system: it debuted on Polestar 2 first; Volvo then followed with XC40 Recharge and XC60. You’ll see more of that in the coming years as new technologies roll out — Polestar first, then Volvo.” While Volvo is taking cautionary steps, it runs counter with the sister brand’s evolvement.