Volvo says it will be the first automaker to offer direct integration with Google Home in its cars. You will be able to control some functions remotely through Google Assistant. You can ask your phone to lock the doors or ask a smart speaker to start warming up your car as you prepare to leave the house.
Two-factor authentication is required for “more sensitive commands”, such as unlocking doors. You can also learn information about your car through Google Assistant.
Other features will be added later, such as the ability to schedule charging. Volvo will roll out the Google Home integration in the coming months. To use it you will need an Android infotainment system connected to the Volvo Cars app and a device compatible with Google Assistant.
This is not the first time that we have seen integration with connected home platforms in cars. GM and BMW owners can control smart home devices from vehicles with built-in Alexa, while Samsung and Google have brought a SmartThings dashboard to select models with Android Auto. Yet Google Home is one of the most prominent connected home platforms. If you have a smart speaker with Google Assistant turned on, these features can be useful.
In addition, YouTube will be the first video streaming service on Volvo’s infotainment system. You will be able to download the app from the Play Store. The automaker offers unlimited data in some markets, so you might be able to watch as many videos as you want without worrying about going over your data allowance.
For safety reasons, you will only be able to watch YouTube videos on the screen when the car is stationary. This will allow Volvo to avoid the kind of controversy Tesla was embroiled in recently, when it emerged that the games were playable on the infotainment system while a car was on the move. The company said it would turn off that option after NHTSA said it was investigating the matter.
Other apps Volvo owners will soon be able to download to their infotainment system include the Sygic and Flitsmeister navigation apps; the ChargePoint and Plugshare charging applications; and SpotHero and ParkWhiz parking services.
Earlier this week, Volvo announced that it would use Qualcomm’s car chipsets to power the infotainment systems of Polestar 3 and its upcoming electric EV. The automaker says Snapdragon Cockpit platforms will make systems more responsive and more than twice as fast.
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