Volvo Switching to Android Operating System for Next-Gen Interface

Volvo used the 2018 Los Angeles auto show to announce its connectivity projects. The automaker is currently developing a new Android-based multimedia system in cooperation with Google, which will bring apps such as Google Maps and Spotify into the car. This new system will seamlessly integrate all operating systems and allow the automaker to expand its connected services beyond its current offerings.

At a roundtable discussion, Google and Volvo executives revealed that their intent is to allow an individual to bring their life into the car with a multitude of apps. Currently, Volvo and Amazon offer a delivery service that drops off packages to your vehicle. Volvo says it will offer seamless connectivity with all operating systems and bring third-party services into the vehicle but with a priority on safety. That means games are relegated to rear-seat passengers and ads won’t be shown to you. Volvo will also allow drivers to control their information and give them the ability to stay anonymous; however, staying incognito will prevent one from accessing the full capabilities of the built-in apps.

Autonomous driving will also play a key role because Volvo is learning how to restructure its software from Google. Henrik Green of Volvo’s R&D arm says the automaker is now relying less on third parties for software; instead, it is creating its own in order to allow for new functions like over-the-air updates sooner. Green and Google executive Mickey Kataria did concede that vehicle software updates won’t happen as quickly as they do on mobile devices.

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Green also revealed that 5G connectivity will be integrated into upcoming vehicles. The existing CMA and SPA platforms will receive the upgrades starting with the Polestar 2. Polestar 3, which will debut the second-generation SPA platform, will come standard with 5G connectivity and the new Android-based multimedia system. The second-generation SPA platform will also feature an integrated computer that will run all infotainment and Level 5 autonomous driving functions.

Volvo says that it will roll out its new interface globally but will have a special version for the Chinese market due to government restrictions on Google. iFly will replace Google voice for voice commands, and Autonavi will be the navigation app; however, the interface will remain Android based. Expect to see the new system by 2020.

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