General Motors Vehicles Will Have Google Assistant Built-in Starting in 2021
General Motors vehicle owners will soon be able to use Google Assistant and other Google products in their vehicles without having to sync up their smartphones.
Based on feedback from customers, GM said it will work with Google to bring new infotainment options for a voice assistant, embedded navigation and in-vehicle applications to compatible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles around the world beginning in 2021.
GM said that its research shows that many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle and the built-in Google apps will enhance the overall customer experience and make it easier for customers to bring their digital lives into future connected vehicles.
Deployment across all GM vehicle brands is expected to roll out in the years following.
"We are re-envisioning the future in-vehicle customer experience, and this is just the first step. The integration of select Google technology and services into our vehicle infotainment systems will foster a more connected and efficient driving experience," said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for Global Connected Customer Experience, GM. "We will continue to offer our own unique infotainment features that only GM can deliver, such as service recommendations, vehicle health status, in-vehicle commerce and more, with the Google applications and services complementing our offerings."
With the built in Google Assistant, drivers can use voice to navigate to a destination, share their ETA, find the nearest gas station or ask about a store's hours without needing a phone.
Google Maps will also be embedded in the infotainment system of future GM vehicles to help drivers navigate with real-time traffic information, automatic rerouting and lane guidance.
The Google Play Store will also be accessible right from the vehicle's infotainment system. Drivers will able to download their favorite apps and services designed specifically for in-vehicle use.
Since it syncs with a user's Google account, drivers can pick up where they left off at home and listen to the same albums, podcasts and audiobooks in the vehicle. It will also allow a driver to stay connected with their most important contacts on communication apps.
Google Maps with navigation will be embedded in the infortainmant system of future GM vehicles.
"GM is a trailblazer with Android in automotive and a leader in vehicle connectivity," said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering, Google. "We're incredibly excited to work with them to transform the way people consume media, stay in touch, navigate and access information on the go."
GM said the full feature details of the Google intergration will be available closer to launch.
GM said the Google Assistant integration will continue to evolve over time, so that drivers in the future will be able to simply use their voice to engage with their vehicle, which could include renewing their OnStar or Connected Services plans, checking on their tire pressure, scheduling service and more.
The announcement is the latest example of tech companies striking deals with automakers to make it easier for customers to access their favorite apps and services right from the car and increase their market share in the automotive space.
However, there has been resistance from some automakers about letting Google, Amazon or Apple have access to their customer data, including where people drive and their shopping preferences. Automakers are looking to sell their own connected services for additional revenue streams and are reluctant about giving access to customer data to tech giants such as Google, Apple or Amazon.
However, the list of vehicles with Android Auto embedded into the infotainment system is growing. It's available in more than 500 new car models, including models from Honda, Volvo, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen.
In Sept, 2018, Google announced it was partnering with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to build the operating system behind the entertainment and GPS systems. The OS will offer apps through the Google Play Store, navigation through Google Maps, and voice commands via Google Assistant.
Earlier this year, Google struck a separate deal with Volvo's electric luxury brand Polestar to have Android OS embedded in new models.
Google's Android Automotive OS was first announced in Feb, 2017. In April, Google opened up the APIs for developers to start developing in-vehicle applications for Android Automotive.
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