Volvo’s First Electric Car Also Its First to Run Native Android
Volvo debuted its first electric car, the XC40 Recharge, on Wednesday. The new vehicle, an electric version of Volvo’s popular XC40 SUV, is also the first of Volvo’s Recharge brand and the first to have Google’s Android OS built-in.
Infotainment Powered by Google
The XC40’s integration with Google’s automotive Android OS gives the driver full access to all things Google, including Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play. The infotainment system’s access to the OS allows drivers to download apps, play music, send messages, and direct navigation with voice commands. Drivers can even control their smart home devices or adjust the vehicle’s temperature using Google Assistant. The OS works in tandem with Volvo’s digital connected services platform, On Call, and enables over-the-air updates for new features.
“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 Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo. “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.”
A Vehicle and Partnership Years in the Making
In 2017, Volvo announced it would partner with Google to integrate its automotive Android OS in future car models and in 2018 the company said it would embed voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps, and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system, Ivo. In May this year, the company announced Android Automotive would be included in the Polestar 2, made by Volvo’s standalone electric vehicle brand, Polestar. The XC40 however, is the first Volvo vehicle under its brand name to include Android OS.