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Future Volvo cars to have Play Store, Maps, and Google Assistant built-in
- The new Volvo Android Auto experience will be demoed at Google I/O 2018.
- The infotainment systems of the future will look and act more and more like a phone – but with no phone connected.
- If you can’t make Google I/O, Volvo will livestream the session.
As part of the Google I/O 2018 Automotive session, Volvo Cars will showcase a preview of the new Android-powered infotainment system of the future. Among other feature upgrades, this new system will have the Google Play Store, Google Maps, and Google Assistant built right in.
Last year, both Volvo and Audi announced that future cars would be connected and powered by Android. Volvo’s upcoming demonstration of the progress on that promise will be developers’ first look at what Android Auto will be able to do soon.
Using Google Assistant, drivers will be able to issue the same voice commands in their car that they use on their Google Home devices back at the house. Things like “OK Google, play some jazz music,” will fire up Google Assistant and start some jazz music playing through your default music streaming app. But, instead of going through your phone and then connecting to Android Auto, everything will happen right in the dash unit itself.
Along with entertainment-based Google Assistant functions, there will also be social and navigation support. Drivers will be able to send and listen to group messages (including RCS messages) using only voice commands – allowing them to stay connected while keeping both hands on the wheel. Drivers will also be able to use Google Maps using only their voice.
Volvo’s demonstration of the new Android Auto features will happen in the dash unit of a current XC40. If you’re not going to be at Google I/O, don’t worry: you can still catch the livestream of the session to see how it all works.