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With the help of Google, Volvo is rethinking infotainment in the forthcoming fully electric Volvo XC40.

Volvo becomes the first company to team up with Google on integrating an infotainment system powered by Android, with Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store built in. The two companies have been development partners for the past few years.

The new system offers full integration of Android Automotive OS, Google’s open-source Android platform, with real-time updates to services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and automotive apps created by the global developer community.

The electric XC40 is also the first Volvo that will receive software and operating system updates over the air, meaning that the vehicle will keep evolving and improving over time, rather than it being at its peak when it leaves the factory.

“We are finally giving you the same experience in your car that you’re used to on your phone, but adapted for safe interaction while driving,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. “And by introducing over-the-air updates for everything from maintenance to completely new features, the car can stay as fresh as your other digital products, always with the latest and greatest features.”

In addition, Google Assistant will allows customers to use their voice for in-car functions such as controlling temperature, setting a destination, playing their favourite music and podcasts on apps such as Spotify, and keeping in touch by, for example, sending messages.

This integration contributes to reducing driver distraction, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Google Assistant also allows you to interact with your smart-home devices from your Volvo car.

Map data will also be used to improve the capabilities of the XC40’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) by providing important information such as speed limits and curves in the road to the car.

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