New features coming part of the company's Android-based operating system
Volvo Cars will embed Google Assistant, Maps and the Google Play Store in its next-generation Sensus infotainment system.
As announced in May 2017, the replacement for Volvo's current infotainment system will be based on Google Android – something Audi is also planning. Although both system will have the same software skeleton, each manufacturer will be able to make the system look like their own.
Google Assistant will be capable of controlling in-car functions like air-conditioning, along with infotainment functions and smartphone messaging. The idea is to keep the driver's eyes on the road by reducing or removing the need to press buttons.
Mercedes-Benz is chasing a similar experience with the 'Hey Mercedes' functionality in its new MBUX system, although saying 'Okay Google' is likely more familiar to the majority of people, given its prevalence in current smart-home devices.
"Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo.
“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.”
Google Maps will offer live traffic updates, allowing for smarter routing than traditional in-car systems. Owners can currently use maps from their phone through Android Auto.
"The Google partnership to be entered into is an important strategic alliance for Volvo Cars," Green said.
"The Android platform, Google services and Google’s working relationship with app developers in-house and worldwide will help us further improve the Volvo car experience."