Volvo to Give Google Assistant a Central Role in Its Next-Generation Cars


Volvo to Give Google Assistant a Central Role in Its Next-Generation Cars

Volvo has announced that it will embed voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps, and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system.

That means that Google Assistant will be the central voice interface to operate all the functions of their vehicle’s infotainment system from navigation commands, playing music, sending messages to heating and cooling.

It won’t matter what kind of smartphone you own as they plan to bring the Android operating system into its cars. This is a significant announcement for Google as they have been battling with Apple along with other tech companies for control of the vehicle screen.

Google released Android Auto back in 2015 as an in-car platform that brings the look and feel of a smartphone to a vehicle’s centre screen. Both Android Auto and its Apple CarPlay rival have had some success.

Android Auto is not exactly an operating system but its a secondary interface that lays on top of the existing car operating system. The real battle is over the operating system of a vehicle’s infotainment system. Google took Android, its open-source mobile operating system that runs on Linux and is designed for smartphones and tablets, and modified it so it could be used in cars. Patrick Brady, vice president of engineering for Android said to media:
“A big investment has been to take Android, the mobile platform, and make that a true automotive platform,”

“We think we’re setting a new benchmark for infotainment (in cars).”

Other car manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai, and Kia have been using older versions of the Android operating system in cars for years and Google has also helped integrate services like Google Maps into a car’s proprietary software but this new version of Android is designed to be a purpose-built system for car manufacturers and Brady predicts a “crazy adoption” by automakers.

Volvo Cars announced in 2017 that the new generation of its infotainment system will be based on Google’s Android platform. Although Volvo did not release a date, the first Android-based system is intended to be launched in a couple of years from now
“In two to five years, you’re going to see more than half of new cars sold will be running Android,”

This new android Google ecosystem will help deliver potentially thousands of other third-party apps adapted for Android-based car infotainment systems into the car all over the world.

The senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars, Henrik Green, said in a statement.
“Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services,”

“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.”

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.