Volvo first to commit to Android-powered infotainment system

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Google previews Android-based infotainment system

Google previews Android-based infotainment system

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Volvo has confirmed plans to introduce an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system within the next two years.

The system will feature graphics and menus unique to Volvo, but behind the scenes it will be powered by Android. Volvo will also have its own apps running on the system alongside those from Google and third parties.

The Swedish automaker is the first to commit to an Android infotainment system. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles previewed one in January and will likely announce similar plans in the near future.

Google first announced plans for an Android infotainment system in 2016. The tech giant says the benefit to automakers in using its operating system is that they will no longer be tasked with having to develop their own systems for features such as climate control, connectivity, navigation and radio, helping to reduce complexity and costs.

Google also points out that a common operating system offers advantages for communication between cars on the road, which will be crucial for a future with self-driving cars.

Other automakers have been wary of ceding control of key components such as the infotainment system to an outside firm, especially when it comes to privacy of data collected. For example, we’ve already seen Toyota reject Android Auto and the similar Apple CarPlay smartphone integration system.

More details on the Android infotainment system will be announced at the Google I/O event on Wednesday, May 17.

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