Volvo Cars to Embed Google Assistant, Google Play & Google Maps in its Next-Gen Infotainment System

Volvo Cars to Embed Google Assistant, Google Play & Google Maps in its Next-Gen Infotainment System

Author: Jacky Ho   

Coinciding with Google's annual I/O Developers Conference which started today in Silicon Valley, Volvo Cars announced it is working with Google to embed the voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system, which is based on Google's Android operating system.

Volvo's partnership with Google will enhance the way Volvo customers engage with and interact with their cars. The popular apps and services developed by Google and Volvo Cars are embedded in the car, plus thousands more are available through the Google Play Store that is optimized for Android-based car infotainment systems.

Since the next generation of Sensus will run on Android, new apps and software updates will be available in real-time and can be automatically applied—without any input from the driver. This allows future Volvo cars to react to customer needs and offer drivers up-to-date information and predictive services. Volvo will also replace its own navigation system with Google Maps.

"Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services," said Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars. "Soon, Volvo drivers will have direct access to thousands of in-car apps that make daily life easier and the connected in-car experience more enjoyable."

The Google Assistant provides a central voice-controlled interface for the car that allows drivers to control in-car functions such as air conditioning, and use apps to play music and send messages. This integration is aimed at reducing driver distraction, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Google Maps will also enable the next generation of Sensus to provide refreshed map and traffic data in real-time, keeping drivers informed about upcoming traffic situations and proactively suggesting alternative routes.

Today's announcement builds on the strategic relationship between Volvo Cars and Google, which began in 2017 when Volvo Cars announced the new generation of its infotainment system will be based on Google's open Android platform.

Volvo Cars is committed to developing strategic relationships with third parties to broaden the range of connected services offered to Volvo customers, embracing the disruption currently underway in the car industry.

The company also continues to develop its own apps, software and connected services within the Volvo Car Group.

"The Google partnership to be entered into is an important strategic alliance for Volvo Cars," Henrik Green said. "The Android platform, Google services and Google's working relationship with app developers in-house and worldwide will help us further improve the Volvo car experience."

In addition to the deal with Volvo, Google announced that it is providing developers new visual templates to help them design apps specifically for automotive applications.

For example, music streaming apps such as Spotify can now integrate search results directly into Android Auto, making it easier for drivers to find related content. Android Auto is also getting Rich Communication Services, or RCS, support and group-messaging support via Google Assistant.

Jacky Ho
Jacky Ho
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