5 reasons you’ll want a new car with a voice-activated Google Assistant-enabled infotainment system
JOHANNESBURG – You may be familiar with Android Auto, the app that connects your smartphone equipped with the Google Android operating system to your vehicle’s infotainment system, but did you know that the multinational tech giant has also developed something called Android Automotive?
The latter is an infotainment operating system (OS) that runs directly on onboard hardware (rather than a smartphone or tablet), with various Google apps and services built in. It is a highly customizable open source platform – which is good news for third-party developers – capable of supporting general apps designed for Android as well as those already built specifically for Android Auto.
This means that drivers will soon be able to use hundreds of current and future apps offered by Google, automakers, and third-party developers, as long as they follow the company’s guidelines for driver distraction (and a few others. restrictions).
So what kinds of cool features are available with this new operating system, which Google’s partner automakers can adapt to their needs? Well this is the start But let’s take a look at five of the most useful Android Automotive features we’ve already identified.:
1. Have a two-way conversation with a virtual assistant
Vehicles equipped with the Android Automotive operating system, such as the new fully electric Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge, come standard with Google Assistant. This artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant is capable of having a two-way conversation with the user, which means that they largely understand natural speech and are not limited to specific, predetermined commands. The driver can thus control a series of functions with his voice, from adjusting the air conditioning to entering a destination in the navigation, including changing the radio station, sending a message or even managing ‘a calendar.
2. Control your car from your phone
The new Android Automotive operating system is fully integrated with services such as Volvo On Call, offering both classic functions (such as the ability to preheat or pre-cool the vehicle interior before a trip and help you to locate your car in a crowded parking lot) and new features such as monitoring vehicle battery status and keeping a list of your favorite charging locations.
3. Stream audiobooks using voice commands
Android-powered vehicles come with the Libby app natively installed on the infotainment system, allowing users to access millions of audiobooks even if they don’t have their smartphone or tablet with them. And, since Google Assistant is also built into the operating system, the driver can safely use voice control to find a particular title, jump between chapters, change the speed of the narration, and more. Likewise, various podcast, radio and music applications are available for integration into the vehicle system.
4. Update your car’s over-the-air system
Worried that your new car’s infotainment system will soon be obsolete? Well, you don’t need that, because Android-equipped vehicles are capable of receiving software and operating system updates over the air, allowing them to continue to improve as they go. time. Live updates – which can be scheduled overnight or during other typically long charging times – cover everything from maintenance to installing brand new system features.
5. Find charging stations using integrated maps
While the open source nature of Android Automotive OS makes it possible to install any number of navigation apps, the built-in version of Google Maps – which, of course, can be managed using the aforementioned voice command. – includes three smart shortcuts: restaurant, parking and charging. stations. The latter is particularly convenient for owners of electric vehicles who want to plug in. Additionally, if you use route guidance in your XC40 P8 Recharge, it will also display the current vehicle charge level as well as the expected level when you arrive at your destination.