Volvo CIO Klas Bendrik

Volvo Cars CIO Klas Bendrik has been promoted to the role of senior vice president, reflecting the significance of technological innovation and disruption within the automotive industry.

The Swedish car manufacturer said that Bendrik, who has been CIO for five years, will support "the key role technology will play for carmakers in future as they develop their connectivity products and services".

Volvo is accelerating its driverless car efforts and is hoping to put autonomous vehicles on public roads by 2017 in a pilot in Gothenburg.

Bendrik's promotion is part of a larger organisational restructure which will create three new business regions - the Americas, Europe Middle East and Africa, and Asia - each led by a senior vice president.

Named the 2014 CIO of the Year by CIO UK's sister title CIO Sweden, Bendrik recently explained the firm's changing attitude to customer data. With increasingly connected cars, Volvo is learning more about driver behaviour than before and the firm is actively forming new policies around the storage and use of that information. A driver's data privacy, Bendrik said, has become a priority alongside their safety.

"At Volvo both security and safety has always been very important. That relates both to physical safety and virtual safety - and privacy is one aspect of that so when it comes to customer data, in our situation, the customer always owns the data. We do not sell or use the data in anyway without opting in or getting consent from the customer."

His promotion follows a presentation at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, where various Volvo safety and semi-autonomous car features were showcased, including a black ice detector and warning system.

Volvo's car in-car entertainment systems, connectivity and warning features are transmitted through its cloud-based car platform, which is hosted by Ericsson.