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Infotainment systems in future Volvo cars are set to feature search engine technology from Google.

The Swedish manufacturer has announced that it is working with the online media giant to incorporate its voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services into the next generation of Sensus infotainment systems. These will be based on Android operating system which was developed by Google.

Apps and services developed by Google and Volvo Cars will be embedded into each cars, while thousands of additional apps will be available through the Google Play Store, optimised and adapted for Android-based car infotainment systems.

Volvo adds that the Android operating system of the next Census systems will also allow automatic software updating and adding of new apps. This will allow future Volvo cars to react to the needs of their drivers and offer them up-to-date information and predictive services.

Accelerating innovation

According to Volvo’s research and development head Henrik Green, adding Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost the brand’s development in applications and connected services.

“Soon, Volvo drivers will have direct access to thousands of in-car apps that make daily life easier and the connected in-car experience more enjoyable,” Green says.

The centrally-mounted Google Assistant will allow drivers to voice-control in-car functions such as air conditioning, and use apps to play music and send messages, helping the driver to keep their eyes on the road and reduce distractions.

Other advantages will include map and traffic data being refreshed in real time – drivers will have the most up-to-date traffic information and will be offered alternative routes.

Volvo Cars first began working with Google in 2017, announcing that the new generation of its infotainment system would be based on Google’s Android platform. The first Android-based system is expected to appear within the next two years.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.