Volvo, Google Team Up on New Infotainment System
You don't need an Android smartphone to use it, and it will still support Apple CarPlay.
Volvo Cars has joined forces with tech giant Google to develop an automotive infotainment system based on the Android operating system. Volvo says it will be in the company's cars within two years.
Apps for the new infotainment system will be able to be developed by Volvo, Google, and third-party developers alike.
“Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective,” Volvo senior vice president of R&D Henrik Green said of the new infotainment system.
Android Engineering at Google vice president Patrick Brady said of the joint venture, “This partnership gives us the opportunity to deliver a more seamless experience to Volvo drivers through a full-featured infotainment platform and rich ecosystem of Android applications and Google services.”
Current Volvos offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new system will still support Apple CarPlay to accommodate iOS users.
This isn’t the first time Volvo and Google have worked together. There’s already a free Android app called Volvo Reality, which gives you a VR test drive of the new XC90 SUV. It currently has a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on Google Play with opinions ranging from “I wish Volvo would make it longer and different Volvo cars” to “An app so bad it makes makes me not ever want to drive a Volvo!”
With over 107 million Android users in the U.S. alone, Google seems to know what they’re doing in the mobile OS game. The company has made Android a customizable, user-friendly experience. If they can pull off translating that expertise into a car’s center stack, infotainment systems might be getting much better in the near future.