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*Android will soon power the touchscreen displays in select Volvo and Audi cars
* Google Assistant will work as a virtual voice companion for your vehicle
* Volvo plans to fully release the software within the next two years
As Bloomberg first reported, Volvo and Audi are working with Google to bring you fully integrated Android cars. The new Android system will be able to control essentially every feature of your car’s infotainment unit. Great news for Google. Not so great for Apple.
Unlike Android Auto, which was Google’s previous attempt to use your smartphone to adjust certain dashboard settings, the new system will include full Android integration. That means instead of using your phone to control the volume or adjust the temperature, the new system will actually be baked into the dashboard, making every car fully Android-equipped.
The system will always include voice recognition features a la Google Assistant. You can ask it to open Google Maps, close the sunroof and more. The voice-activated system even lets you manage your Google Home settings on the go. The only thing it can’t do is control your gas and brake pedals… yet.
Google is pulling ahead of Apple in terms of automobile connectivity. With Audi and Volvo essentially teaming up with Google over the next few years, the collaboration — if successful — could lead other car manufacturers to follow suit. With this technology apparently already in the testing phase, Google has a clear lead over vehicle app integration.
Fortunately, these new changes could be hitting the market sooner than you think. Volvo says it plans to release the Android software within the next two years, while Audi is already showcasing the new software with its Q8 concept vehicle.