For immediate release
TORONTO (June 15, 2005) – A doctoral study at the Department of Musicology at Göteborg University in Sweden has concluded that people consider the automobile to be among the best places to experience music. With Canadians spending more and more time in their cars, Volvo Car Corporation has heard the message loud and clear.
A study of 1,000 randomly-selected individuals was conducted in 2000 to try to find out why people play music in the car. The results showed that one-third of respondents had their strongest musical experience in the car, while approximately 50 per cent considered the car a good place to be left in peace.
The study concluded that the small space of an automobile interior, when compared to a living room or concert hall, facilitates a closeness to the music and intensifies the effect a song can have on the driver.
An experiment brought participants to a specially-equipped car capable of registering driving behaviour. By altering the music -- from the familiar to unfamiliar, from soothing to irritable -- interviewers were able to gauge the impact the songs had on driving behaviour. The music was chosen based on the participant’s preferences.
The experiment even found that the same song can create different reactions in different situations. After a long and tiring day, an active song with a catchy beat can improve a driver’s concentration and driving behaviour in rainy conditions. The same song, with an excited, energetic driver, could result in too much concentration on the song rather than the road ahead.
Ultimately, the respondents who most enjoyed their musical experience in the car wished to feel “close” to the music or to be surrounded by sound, a situation that Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound processing available in Volvo vehicles can provide.
“With such a large portion of the population enjoying their strongest musical experience in their car, it makes sense for Volvo Car Corporation to offer a premium audio system in a vehicle which can only improve the drive,” said Paul Cummings, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. “Employing the sophisticated technology from a respected company like Dolby Laboratories, Volvo Cars is able to offer customers the same surround sound experience they get from their home theatre systems in their vehicle.”
The 1997 Volvo C70 coupe and convertible introduced Volvo buyers to a premium audio experience with Dolby Pro Logic processing technology. The technology was so well received by customers that Dolby Pro Logic began to spread throughout the vehicle line-up. The technology made a leap forward in clarity and sound processing with Dolby Pro-Logic II with the launch of the XC90 in 2002. In 2005, every Volvo vehicle offers Dolby Pro-Logic II as optional equipment.
Cummings added that as Canadians spend more and more time in their cars, the desire for a premium audio system can only grow, especially in the premium automobile market where Volvo vehicles are sold.
A Statistics Canada survey found that 47 per cent of Canada’s adult population spent an average of 62 minutes per day commuting to and from work. What’s more, residents in large cities spent more time in the car when compared to their rural counterparts: up to 70 minutes in Toronto and Vancouver vs. 49 minutes in smaller towns.
“With Canadians averaging more than an hour in their cars every day, it’s to our advantage to look for ways to improve the driving experience,” Cummings concluded. “In addition to building luxurious and comfortable interiors, one way is to offer a high-quality surround sound audio system that rewards Volvo owners every time they get in their car.”
Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sports sedan, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2005, the company is introducing the completely redesigned S40 sports sedan and V50 sportswagon, providing performance for a new generation.
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