Volvo Will Put Android System in the Dash
Volvo is partnering with Google on an Android-based next generation of the luxury brand's in-car multimedia and connectivity systems.
The switch from Volvo's current in-house system will show up in its cars within two years, the company said. Unlike Android Auto standalone smartphone integration, the new built-in system requires no tethered phone and will offer apps developed by Google, Volvo and third parties.
Volvo said the Android-based system will be faster, allow more options for personalizing its use and give Volvo more development flexibility. It also could help Volvo keep its experience as up to date as its owners' phones by tapping into the rich, ongoing development of new apps and uses for Android, while keeping a distinctive Volvo interface.
"With the advent of Android, we will embrace a rich ecosystem while keeping our iconic Volvo user interface. We will offer hundreds of popular apps and the best integrated experience in this broad, connected environment," said Henrik Green, vice president for research and development at Volvo Car Group, in a statement.
The in-car system promises to be a more robust experience than simple phone-based Android, Haris Ramic, Google's Android product manager, wrote today in the Google Blog: "That means your car's built-in infotainment system could allow you to control your air conditioning, sunroof and windows, find the nearest restaurant with Google Maps, listen to Spotify or NPR, or just ask your Google Assistant for help – even when you leave your phone behind." This also means, of course, that Google's long arm of data collection about where you are and what you're doing will be able to reach deeper into the car.
Ramic and Volvo said there will be more details on the system in a presentation on Wednesday at the Google I/O developer conference.
Other automakers have been looking at the Google system. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that it is developing a concept for running a version of Android in the dashboard.
Separately, Volvo announced today that it will update its current Sensus Navigation systems to incorporate Google Local Search, a location-based app to search for local businesses and services.