Volvo says it will be the first automaker to offer direct integration with Google Home in its cars. You'll be able to control certain functions remotely via Google Assistant. You might tell your phone to lock the doors or ask a smart speaker to start warming up your car as you're getting ready to leave home.
Two-factor authentication is needed for "more sensitive commands," like unlocking the doors. You can also learn info related to your car through Google Assistant.
More features will be added later, such as the option to schedule charging. Volvo will roll out Google Home integration in the coming months. To use it, you'll need an Android-powered infotainment system that's connected to the Volvo Cars app and a Google Assistant-enabled device.
It's not the first time we've 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 brought a SmartThings dashboard to some models with Android Auto. Still, Google Home is one of the more prominent connected home platforms around. If you have a smart speaker with Google Assistant enabled, these features might come in useful.
In addition, YouTube will be the first video streaming service on Volvo's infotainment system. You'll be able to download the app from the Play Store. The automaker offers unlimited data in certain markets, so you might be able to watch as many videos as you like without worrying about busting your data allowance.
For safety reasons, you'll only be able to watch YouTube videos on the screen when the car's stationary. That will ensure Volvo avoids the kind of controversy Tesla was embroiled in recently, when it emerged that games were playable on the infotainment system while a car was moving. The company said it would disable that option after the NHTSA said it was looking into the matter.
Other apps that Volvo owners will soon be able to download to their infotainment system include navigation apps Sygic and Flitsmeister; charging apps ChargePoint and Plugshare; and parking services SpotHero and ParkWhiz.
Earlier this week, Volvo announced it will use Qualcomm's car chipsets to power the infotainment systems in Polestar 3 and its upcoming electric EV. The automaker claims Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will make the systems more responsive and more than twice as fast.
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