The Volvo XC40 Electric will get an Android-based operating system for the new infotainment unit that is officially known as the "Android Automotive OS" and has been specially developed for cars. Thanks to this, for the first time in its history the carmaker will be offering larger over-the-air updates, beyond the existing map updates on other Volvo cars.
The new system will be powered by an automotive-specific version of Google's Android operating system and include popular apps such as Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store-complete with real-time updates.
Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars said, "We are finally giving you the same experience in your auto that you're used to on your phone, but adapted for safe interaction while driving". This will allow Volvo to update the auto with new features and functionality over time, just as Tesla does. If the new OS can keep the simplicity and ease of use combined with new and improved features, it could be on to a victor.
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One of the best features of Android Automotive OS is that it is an Android operating system familiar to millions of developers, tailored to run in the vehicle.
The new infotainment system will also be integrated with Volvo's own Volvo On Call app that offers remote functions, such as pre-heating the vehicle, locating it in a parking lot, and even sharing it via a digital key.
Maps will provide refreshed map data and traffic data in real-time to keep drivers informed. Map data will also help to improve the capabilities of the XC40 Advanced Driver Assistance System with details on speed limits and curves in the road.
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What's more, the Android system will be fully integrated with the Volvo On Call service, allowing the deployment of features like battery status and charging levels monitoring. The Volvo XC40 will debut on October 16.
Meanwhile, Volvo's On Call connected service will also be on deck, allowing users to remotely pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle, find it in a large auto park, lock and unlock the doors and share the digital key.
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