The partnership will allow Google to partially take over Volvo's Sensus infotainment system in Volvo's upcoming next-generation vehicles. The carmaker announced last year that it was developing an Android-powered infotainment system with Google, and this seems to be the result of that collaboration.
No Android Phone Needed
Even better news: car owners don't need to have an Android phone to access the slew of Google-made features on their car. This means that soon, users will be able to hop in on a Volvo vehicle and tap into some of the most popular Android Auto features — even if they're using iPhones.
"Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services," said Volvo's senior VP of research and development Henrik Green. "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."
Despite all this, Volvo isn't relinquishing full control over to Google. It still has some say on what the overall infotainment experience will look and feel like, leaving it with some ounce of freedom.
However, given the recurring troubles some carmakers face when designing their own infotainment systems, it probably would have been best if Volvo just handed Google full control. Still, a healthy collaboration is the next best thing consumers can hope for.
Google Assistant And Maps On Volvo
With Google Assistant, users will be able to control certain functions of their vehicle via voice commands. Adjusting the air conditioning, for instance, will be as easy as talking to the car.
They can also order Assistant to play music, send messages, and perform a bunch of tasks that would usually require the driver's attention. With this, Google and Volvo hope to reduce distraction and help drivers keep their eyes on the road at all times.
Google Maps, on the other hand, will deliver refreshed map and traffic data in real time, keeping drivers informed about the latest traffic updates and providing them with alternative routes during severe jams.
Green stressed the importance of partnering with Google to improve its infotainment system, saying that Android, Google services, and Google's relationship with developers "will help us further improve the Volvo car experience."
The first Android-based system will launch in a couple of years, according to Volvo.