Volvo to advance Android experience with integration of Google Assistant

14 January 2022

Connectivity is a major trend in the automotive world, coming with a wide range of functions, features, and technologies. To this end, Volvo Cars and Google recently announced new services that will soon be found in upcoming Volvo vehicles, basically turning them into smart devices.

The Swedish manufacturer will be the first carmaker to equip its cars with Google Assistant, as the two companies continue to cement their partnership. The integration aims for seamless connectivity, allowing customers to manage functions in their car by using voice commands to Google Assistant-enabled home and mobile devices.

Users can pair their vehicles with their existing accounts, talk to Google in their car, and remotely control a number of functions. This can include anything from locking or turning on the heating on a chilly day. To ensure security is not compromised, sensitive commands such as unlocking a vehicle will require a two-factor authentication process.

Volvo said available commands will grow going forward and will also include charging scheduling, allowing customers to set times for charging their vehicles. By ramping up connectivity, users will be able to remotely obtain information from their car at any time.

First to introduce Google tech

‘Volvo Car Group was first to introduce Google technology and services in our cars and we are now looking to be the first to integrate fully with Google Assistant-enabled devices – it is a natural next step in our partnership with Google,’ said Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars.

‘This integration allows us to improve the customer experience immensely, as it gives customers the possibility to easily and securely manage their car while at home or on the go, through any personal device that has Google Assistant,’ he added.

The carmaker said these added functions will also help its electrification efforts as Volvo aims to sell only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2030. It plans to roll out additional features that can assist customers reach ‘full carbon emission-reducing potential’ in their all-electric cars. The new services will be introduced gradually in the coming months.

YouTube and Co

The OEM also announced YouTube video playback will soon come to all Volvo cars with Google built-in, marking the beginning of video streaming in cars. Crucially, videos will only play when the car is fully stationary. New Volvo models are already equipped with an Android system embedded into its infotainment system. But YouTube was not part of this until now.

‘Allowing our customers to watch videos while charging or when waiting to pick up their children from school is part of our promise to make their lives better and more enjoyable,’ said Green. ‘With YouTube and other major streaming services coming soon, our customers can enjoy their charging break instead of seeing it as just a hassle – making electric-car ownership that bit easier.’

The carmaker also recently inked a deal with connected-technology supplier Qualcomm to digitise its product line and enhance infotainment systems. This will include a suite of wireless technologies to support advanced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.