Volvo plans to embed Google services in next-generation infotainment system

Volvo’s next-generation infotainment system may look a lot more like a smartphone. The Swedish luxury brand announced on Monday that it plans to embed Google’s connected services in its upcoming infotainment system.

Altogether, the system will feature the voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps, and other Google services baked into Sensus, which is Volvo’s infotainment system. The future system is already built on Google’s Android operating system.

Thus, a handful of apps and services developed by both Volvo and Google will be available from the start. In addition, thousands of other apps optimized for Android-based infotainment will work with the Sensus system. Since Volvo and Google are making one big happy family, new apps and software updates will be available in real-time and can be automatically applied.

A Volvo spokesman confirmed the new system would still be compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Volvo didn’t provide additional details on when the new infotainment system will roll out, but said consumers should expect to see it in a couple of years. The vague timeline lines up with the introduction of the 2020 S60. In fact, Garmin may have outed the cars’ interiors at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. A video appeared to show the company’s latest infotainment system running on a future Volvo center stack complete with smart dials and a fully digital gauge cluster.

If the two cars are the first to boast the Google-laden system, expect to see it in 2019 ahead of a 2020 introduction date. The S60 will be produced at Volvo’s new Ridgeville, South Carolina, plant.

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