Volvo Car Group is the first auto maker to team up with Google to integrate an infotainment system powered by Android, with Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store built in. The two companies have been development partners for the past few years.
Installed in the new fully electric Volvo XC40, the infotainment system offers full integration of Android Automotive OS, Google’s open-source Android platform, with real-time updates to services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and automotive apps created by the global developer community.
The electric XC40 is also the first Volvo that will receive software and operating system updates over the air. The fully electric XC40 will keep evolving and improving over time, rather than it being at its peak when it leaves the factory.
“We are finally giving you the same experience in your car that you’re used to on your phone, but adapted for safe interaction while driving,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “And by introducing over-the-air updates for everything from maintenance to completely new features, the car can stay as fresh as your other digital products, always with the latest and greatest features.”
Android Automotive OS is tailored to run in the car, enabling Google and Volvo to embed their own apps, while additional music and media apps for cars are available through the Google Play Store.
Google Assistant allows customers to get things done using just their voice for in-car functions such as controlling temperature, setting a destination, playing their favorite music and podcasts on apps such as Spotify, and keeping in touch by, for example, sending messages.
This integration contributes to reducing driver distraction, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Google Assistant also allows drivers to interact with their smart-home devices from the car.
Google Maps will be able to provide refreshed map and traffic data in real time, keeping drivers informed about upcoming traffic situations and proactively suggesting alternative routes, as well as suggesting the nearest charging station.
This same rich and fresh map data will be used to improve the capabilities of the XC40’s ADAS by providing important information such as speed limits and curves in the road to the car.
The new infotainment system will also be fully integrated with Volvo On Call, offering new features such as monitoring battery status and charging levels. Volvo On Call classics such as pre-heating your car on a cold winter’s day, finding your car in a large car lot, remote locking and unlocking, and car sharing via a digital key are also included. The fully electric XC40 will be first shown to the public on October 16, 2019.