Volvo is one week away from unveiling the primary EV beneath its personal model, an all-electric model of the corporate’s in style XC40 SUV. On Wednesday, the Swedish automaker said the car will mark another first, too: will probably be the primary Volvo automobile with an infotainment system constructed on Google’s new embedded Android Automotive software program.
That means the brand new electrical XC40 will include options and apps like Google Assistant and Google Maps inbuilt, without having for an Android smartphone. The SUV’s infotainment system may also have entry to the Play Store, permitting house owners to obtain apps that Google’s permitted for automotive use.
We’ve identified for greater than two years that Volvo was engaged on integrating Android into its vehicles. In truth, Google confirmed off an early model of the software program working on a gas-powered XC40 at its 2018 I/O conference. Now, this received’t essentially be the primary automobile with embedded Android, nor will or not it’s the primary all-electric within the wider Volvo Group. Volvo’s efficiency sub-brand Polestar has claimed each of these titles with its Polestar 2 EV, which is slated to go on sale in 2020. But Volvo’s XC40 is a extra reasonably priced, higher-volume automobile that may attain extra clients.
The deep integration of Android will enable drivers and passengers to make use of Google Assistant to alter issues like local weather settings, and it’ll additionally allow over-the-air updates that may add new options or deal with some upkeep points, based on Volvo. And sure, Google and Volvo’s system will enable individuals to plug their iPhones in and use Apple AutomotivePlay.
While all of this added performance will make for a distinct expertise in contrast to what’s presently out there inside a Volvo automobile, the brand new infotainment system will nonetheless look acquainted to anybody who’s used the automaker’s present Sensus software program.
That’s one of many major targets of this entire partnership mannequin Google’s pursuing. The tech big supplies a dependable software program spine, which every automaker will get to develop and model to their liking. Beyond Volvo, Google’s additionally signed up massive names like General Motors and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It’s a far cry from a couple of years in the past when automakers had been so hesitant to let tech firms take over any small slice of the in-car expertise that many slow-rolled their preliminary adoptions of Android Auto and AutomotivePlay.