Who needs smartphone integration now?
Californian tech giant Google has announced that its Android operating system will be used as a platform that will underpin future infotainment systems from both Audi and Volvo, according to a Google blog post and an announcement by the latter manufacturer. The open-source platform has been utilised as the building blocks for various different kinds of software around the world, but the move to Android by the two (markedly different) manufacturers will bring Google more into your car than ever before.
Google's I/O developer conference this week will likely glean more details, but a blog update has revealed quite a bit already. "Today, Audi and Volvo announced they will build Android into their next-generation of cars," it begins. "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."
Volvo is clearly very excited about the partnership, saying that it will "revolutionise" how its customers interact with their cars. "We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership," said Volvo R&D boss Henrik Green. "Google's platform and services will enhance the user experience, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective. With the advent of Android, we will embrace a rich ecosystem while keeping our iconic Volvo user interface."
Can't help but wonder if future Audis and Volvos will offer Apple CarPlay connectivity.