On October 16, 2019, Volvo will introduce the all-new, all-electric XC40 with an Android Auto-based infotainment system featuring Google technologies built in. This allows your vehicle to have nearly the same capabilities as your smart phone. According to Volvo, the new infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalization, improved levels of intuitiveness, and new embedded Google technology and services.
Volvo is the first company to coordinate with Google on integrating an infotainment system powered by Android, with the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store built-in. The two companies have been development partners for the past several years. This new system has been dubbed Android Automotive OS.
One large benefit of this new system is the ability to receive large real-time updates over the air to Google-based apps. This will allow the all-electric Volvo XC40 to evolve over time rather than be at its technological peak upon leaving the factory in Trollhatten. Other current models can receive smaller updates over the air, however nothing on the scale of this new system.
As quoted in a recent Volvo press release, “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,” says Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo. “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.”
This integration contributes to reducing driver distraction, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The Google Assistant also allows you to interact with your smart-home devices from your Volvo car. The Google Assistant allows customers to get things done using just their voice for in-car functions such as controlling temperature, setting a destination, and playing their favorite music and podcasts on apps like Spotify. Google Maps will be able to provide refreshed map and traffic data in real time.
Volvo’s own system, Volvo On Call, will be fully integrated with this system allowing drivers to also monitor battery levels and charging status. Other existing On Call features such as engine start, parking lot location, and remote lock and unlock will remain available.
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