Volvo has announced new details in its partnership with Google, saying it's working with the Silicon Valley behemoth to embed Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other voice-controlled services into Volvo's next-generation Sensus infotainment system.
Volvo last year announced its partnership with Google to bring Android-based infotainment (that's infotainment, folks!) into its cars over the next two years, increasing speed and flexibility by embedding the operating system straight into the car, instead of syncing it through a third-party app and smartphone.
The new development means Volvo owners (or subscribers) will be able to control functions like air conditioning or use apps to play music or send messages by voice command. They'll also have access to thousands of additional third-party apps optimized for the Android-based infotainment system, with access to new apps and updates in real time, meaning the vehicles will be able to offer up-to-date information and predictive services.
"Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services," Henrik Green, Volvo's senior vice president of R&D, said in a release. "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."
Alas, Volvo says the first Android-based system is still a couple years away from launching.
Meanwhile, the company continues to develop its own apps, software and connected-vehicle services. It just announced a new cloud-based vehicle-to-vehicle technology for passenger cars and trucks in Sweden and Norway to alert one another when a Volvo-branded vehicle's hazard lights are switched on.
Volvo in late 2016 announced that it would be embedding Skype for Business conference calling capabilities into its high-end 90-series cars