Volvo teams up with Google for Android-based in-car systems

Chinese-owned carmaker to break with Microsoft platform on next generation models

The infotainment system of the new Volvo XC60: the Swedish-based car firm has agreed a partnership with Google for future in-car systems

The infotainment system of the new Volvo XC60: the Swedish-based car firm has agreed a partnership with Google for future in-car systems

 

As the automotive and tech world’s continue to converge, Volvo has agreed a deal with Google to develop the next generation of in-car systems on the Silicon Valley firm’s Android platform.

Under the agreement Volvo, the Swedish-based Chinese-owned carmaker, is moving from a Microsoft operating system for its latest in-car app systems, and will instead work with Google to develop the next generation of Volvo’s in-car infotainment and connectivity systems. The firm expects to implement the Android platform on new models within two years.

An early initiative of the partnership will be the addition of Google Local Search, a location-based service application on the car firm’s navigation system.

The deal also offers Android app developers the opportunity to hone their products for in-car usage in future cars.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ödgärd Andersson, vice-president of electrics, electronics and chassis at Volvo, said with the advent of autonomous cars, manufacturers like Volvo are increasingly tapping the potential for infotainment systems and apps for occupants who no longer have to focus on driving.

Self-driving system

Volvo has committed to having a self-driving system on the market by 2021. According to Ms Andersson: “We are heavily involved in developing autonomous cars and part of the focus is to give back time to our customers. That time will open up for everything from working to socialising and relaxing. We have the intention to create the best possible environment from a Volvo perspective, and the best user experience. In this collaboration with Google we will built upon this.”

She said smart partnerships are the future for the car industry. She declined to say whether Apple was considered as a partner or outline potential revenue streams for the car firm from the partnership, but said the deal would not affect owners who use the Apple ecosystem.

Last September, Volvo opened a research office in Silicon Valley, hiring 70 engineers.