While Volvo Trucks has chosen to integrate Alexa in its trucks, Volvo Cars surprisingly preferred to offer Google Assistant for its private vehicles. Car owners with Android Automotive, including the new Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV, will soon be able to drive their car by voice from a connected Google Home or compatible speaker, and even install apps from the Play Store such as YouTube!
Volvo Cars chooses Google Assistant
If voice commands and routines were already available on Android Auto, the Mountain View firm took advantage of CES 2022 to announce a further integration de Google Assistant in Android Automotive, its on-board operating system, and the availability of new features at Volvo.
Henrik Green, Product Manager at Volvo Cars, explains that “This integration dramatically improves the customer experience by giving customers the ability to easily and securely manage their cars at home or on the go, through any personal device with Google Assistant installed. "
By linking their Volvo Cars and Google accounts, drivers will be able to spend Google Assistant voice commands while driving, without smartphone, to control the heating and air conditioning of their car, to lock the doors and activate features such as lane keeping assistance, or to navigate the infotainment system.
Better yet, they will be able to manage many settings from a Google Home compatible speaker, including heating, door locking or battery charge level. A planning feature will allow you to define specific times to recharge your vehicle or to make an appointment for a service. Convenient !
Rest assured, a two-step authentication process will allow them to ensure that only authorized people will be able to use the most sensitive commands. We think, in particular, of unlocking the vehicle.
Watch YouTube in your Volvo
Like Stellantis which already offers Fire TV on his Jeep, the collaboration between Google and Volvo will finally allow users to watch YouTube in the car and access a large number of applications via Google Play. Volvo mentions the possibility of watching videos during a recharging break, a use that will develop with the rise of electric vehicles, or even while waiting at the drive of a supermarket or a restaurant.
Obviously, these applications will only be usable at a standstill for the moment, but the automaker plans to make them available in the long term on Ride Pilot, its control system. 100% autonomous driving which will soon be introduced in California, and perhaps one day in Europe if the regulatory authorities authorize it.
The new Google Assistant features will be phased out this year on all Volvo vehicles equipped with an Android Automotive infotainment system.