Volvo and Google Team Up on Apps
Two days ahead of the annual Google I/O tech show, Volvo Cars and Google have announced a “close partnership” that will see the automaker use Android-based apps to develop the next generation of its in-car infotainment/connectivity systems. Volvo says the first fruits of this collaboration will launch on new models within the next two years and “revolutionize how customers engage and interact with their vehicles.” The new setup will be fully integrated into Volvo’s Sensus system, and not require the user’s Android-based smartphone to be directly connected to the vehicle.
Fully integrated Google OS
“We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership. Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group. Green noted that cars equipped with the system be able to use a host of Android apps created by Google, Volvo or third-party developers.
According to Patrick Brady, Vice President of Android Engineering at Google, the comprehensive integration will deliver a quicker and more seamless user experience with greater personalization for owners by expanding the selection of Android applications and Google services. In addition to things like Google Maps and Google Assistant, the system has the capability to directly command a host of vehicle functions like activating the climate control system, power windows and sunroof. Audi also has committed to a Google-integrated infotainment system. More details are expected later this week at Google I/O when operational examples of this new Google OS will be presented on a Volvo V90 Cross Country and Audi’s Q8 Sport Concept SUV.
In conjunction with the announcement, Volvo said it’s also working with Google to update the capabilities of several recent models by adding the location-based service app Google Local Search to vehicles equipped with Sensus Navigation.
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