Android-powered infotainment systems have been around for a few years now, although made by third-party companies. That's about to change starting next week, as the electric Volvo XC40 will become the first vehicle to get such a feature, straight from the factory.
Set to debut on October 16, the zero-emission premium subcompact SUV will benefit from the full integration of the Android Automotive operating system. The unit supports over-the-air updates for the software and operating system, provides great levels of personalization and embeds Google’s technology and services.
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"We are finally giving you the same experience in your car that you’re used to on your phone, but adapted for safe interaction while driving", said CTO Henrik Green. "And by introducing over-the-air updates for everything, from maintenance to completely new features, the car can stay as fresh as your other digital products, always with the latest and greatest features."
Users will be able to access certain functions of the car by using their voice, thanks to the integration of Google Assistant. Thus, they can set a destination point, play a certain song, control the temperature and send messages hands-free and without taking their eyes off the road.
The implementation of this technology has also allowed for the improvement of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, which provide important information to the car such as upcoming curves and speed limits.
Meanwhile, Volvo’s On Call connected service will also be on deck, allowing users to remotely pre-heat or pre-cool the car, find it in a large car park, lock and unlock the doors and share the digital key.