Volvo partners with Google to bring Android into cars

May 15, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
According to a winged word in the electronics industry, a car is basically nothing but a smartphone with wheels. However, the functionality of a car’s connectivity and infotainment section is still miles away from that of a smartphone. Volvo now intends to change this: Together with Google, the Swedish carmaker will implant Android into the next generation of its vehicles.

To give cars the look-and-feel of smartphones in terms of connectivity, Volvo has entered into a close partnership with Google, the intellectual parent of the smartphone operating system Android. The goal is offering access to a wide array of apps and services to car users – they will be able to use many, though not all Android apps. The large catalogue of Android apps, developed by Google, Volvo, or third party app developers will offer connected and predictive services in and around the car, the company said. In contrast to available solutions where the app's HMI is using the vehicle's display but the program code actually is running on the smartphone, Volvo plans to run Android and the related apps natively on the vehicle's infotainment sytem. 

 

The Google partnership represents an important strategic step for Volvo, said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group. “Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective”, he explained.

 

The move also reflects the ongoing convergence between the car and the digital world most people are ling in today. In this context, Volvo regards Android as a strategic choice – using Android as the base operating systems for the infotainment section of its vehicles will enable Volvo to act more agile in the growing market of digital services. Customers can benefit from the move in that it will enable them to personalize their in-car user experience with many Android apps and Google services being seamlessly integrated into their infotainment systems. “We will offer hundreds of apps and the best integrated experience in this connected environment,” Green promised.