Google and Volvo partner to build Android into connected cars

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Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, has announced a close partnership with Google, one of the world's largest technology companies, to develop the next generation of its award-winning in-car infotainment and connectivity solution based on Android, offering access to a wide array of apps and services. The implementation will be more powerful than Android Auto as there will be deeper integration with the OS as well as support for the full Google Assistant experience. Volvo believes smart partnerships are the future for the vehicle industry.

More details on the technology and partnership will be revealed at Google's annual tech show on May 17. It gives the car's infotainment screen a simplified user interface, offering up a number of Android apps without requiring the owner to physically manipulate the phone.

Upcoming Audi and Volvo models will both have in-car infotainment systems that are built on Android 7.0 Nougat. And the Volvo tie-up appears to be the first step in that direction, with the car-maker noting that apps developed by Google, Volvo, and third party app developers will offer "connected and predictive services in and around the vehicle", according to a statement issued by the company. Drivers will be able to access apps developed by Android, Google, and Volvo.

However, there are advantages to using Android as that foundation. Third-party app development for infotainment systems is hit or miss, depending on the automaker, but using Android should change that.

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Making this move will allow Volvo to tap into an already large ecosystem of apps and programs that Android users now enjoy.

"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", Henrik Green, Volvo's senior vice president of research and development, wrote in a press release.

The two companies are also working on another project to update recent Volvo models by integrating Google's Local Search function.

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