Google wants Android (and its Assistant) to power your car, too

Posted May 16, 2017

"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".

In an announcement made today, Google revealed that both automakers plan to include Android Auto in their next generation of cars.

Google has partnered with Volvo to build a next-generation infotainment system into future vehicles as part of a push to corner the rapidly growing connected auto market and take on Apple CarPlay.

The auto version of Android will be powering the central touchscreen unit of the vehicle along with the digital dashboard behind the steering wheel.

The partnership is also meant to improve the customer experience by better integrating apps and services into cars rather than shoving phone screens into auto displays.

Audi is showing off its Q8 sport concept at I/O to demonstrate how this will work on the user end, but basically Google Assistant will take a primary place as a voice controlled central companion. Three years since its launch, Android Auto is now supported by 300 vehicle models and aftermarket stereos.

Through the new partnership, Volvo will be using Google's Android to design its in-car infotainment and connectivity systems - offering a variety of connected and predictive apps and services. The new Android OS will be available with new Volvo models within two years. The OS on the showcased vehicle controlled all the functions right from the radio to the HVAC system. The companies will be showing off the fruits of this deeper integration at the event in San Jose, which goes beyond entertainment and navigation to help drivers and passengers control AC, windows, sunroof and more via Android.

"We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership", announced Henrik Green, senior vice president for research and development at Volvo.