Volvo Cars: Fueling Innovation with Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things so that Every Volvo is “Designed Around You”

By | December 18, 2015

The use of data has exploded in this century – we’ve all heard the seemingly outrageous statistics on the exponential growth of data. And they’re true! No where is this explosion of data more evident than the automobile industry.  Mechanical engineers, design engineers, data scientists, business analysts… you name it, they are using data in every area of the automobile industry. Data and analytics have permeated every aspect and companies like Volvo Cars in taking innovation to a whole new level.

Throughout its history, Volvo Cars set the safety standard by which today’s automobiles are judged; so in 2011 Volvo Cars set out to add more luxury and services with a new corporate strategy called, “Designed Around You.” Data and analytics are one of the most critical tool sets in that new strategy.  The Customer Engagement team had the privilege of sitting down with Volvo Cars’ Jan Wassén whose enthusiasm for the power of data analytics is truly infectious – we’re ready to make our next car purchase a Volvo!

Jan Wassén Dir. of Business Analytics

Jan Wassén
Dir. of Business Analytics

“The mission is to be the most desired premium car brand, and the vision to make life less complicated for people but also utilize and build on our strength, when it comes to our core qualities – safety, quality and environmental care.”  – Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics

Fulfilling this mission with data and analytics is giving Volvo drivers tons of cool features with Volvo’s Connected Car. 80-90% of all Volvo Cars are connected (think internet of things) with customer permission and that gives Volvo data-driven information and drivers data-driven services.

Data-Driven Information

Originally Volvo Cars took 15 years of usage and diagnostic data – combining those two huge data sources was a game changer for Volvo design, diagnostics and warranty parts of the business.

“We have taken it step-by-step. We try to not just learn what has happened, but why it’s happened and also to predict what will happen. It’s like steps in analytics we would like to follow to be more precise and actually to deliver value to the corporation. In order to do that, we needed to bring in different types of data. We started with warranty data, but also customer data comes pretty soon and there are also other types of financial data, etc., that we were trying to introduce into the warehouse for us to be able to deliver more value.” – Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics

Fast forward to today, Volvo Cars is launching a system where they can predict failure rates down to a component level in order to take predictive action in order to save the customer time and money.

“On the engineering side, we could drill down to one component.  We’re saving already in just launching this. We had an issue with a fault code that was wrongly set. Cars came into the dealerships and got new software that they didn’t need to have and that one was several million dollars of savings.”-  Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 2.32.11 PMJust that one example helped loyalty for customers while still saving Volvo Cars service time for the dealers and as Jan said, ‘several million dollars of savings.’

Volvo Cars is also learning what features to put in future vehicle design from their current customers (with permission of course) and teach those current customers about features in their cars.

“We can learn from how the customers are driving their cars; at what speed it’s being driven, which types of behavior that the customers have  and learn it for developing future models. We can learn whether they’re utilizing the center screen for getting at their different entertainment functions or if they use the turn button of the steering wheel or the voice control. We can also utilize the particular data for this particular customer to tell them, ‘You actually have a function in your vehicle. It doesn’t seem like you’re utilizing this and it works like this,’ and we could provide them with a video showing that ‘This is something you should know.’” – Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics

So many cool services and features powered by data and analytics!  Thank you to Volvo Cars for sharing and congratulations on your success!


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