2015 Volvo XC90 Among the First Vehicles To Feature Google's Android Auto | Edmunds

2015 Volvo XC90 Among the First Vehicles To Feature Google's Android Auto


Just the Facts:
  • The 2015 Volvo XC90 will be one of the first vehicles to feature Google's Android Auto, an in-car control system that is designed to minimize driver distraction.
  • Honda vehicles featuring Android Auto will debut in 2015; models and trims will be announced at a later date, the automaker said on Wednesday.
  • Android Auto will be available in select Hyundai models starting in the 2015 model year.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — The 2015 Volvo XC90 will be one of the first vehicles to feature Google's Android Auto, an in-car control system that is designed to minimize driver distraction.

Google introduced the system, which competes with Apple's CarPlay interface, on Wednesday. Many automakers quickly began lining up and confirming that they will put the system into production vehicles, although most did not say which models and trim levels will feature the new product.

Honda vehicles featuring Android Auto will debut in 2015; models and trims will be announced at a later date, the automaker said on Wednesday.

Android Auto will be available in select Hyundai models starting in the 2015 model year.

Audi said it plans to begin introducing Android Auto technology with all new models launched in 2015.

The system uses a driver's smartphone, allowing the user to "project" the same apps and functions onto a car's infotainment system. Once a compatible phone is connected, Android Auto transfers the interface to the car. The driver can access features like music, messaging and navigation, primarily by speaking. A messaging function reads texts and e-mail.

"Many of us want to stay connected even while driving," said Google in a statement posted on its Web site. "Getting directions, traffic updates, finding just the right music playlist. But using our phones while at the wheel is simply unsafe.

"Android Auto, which we showed to developers today, takes care of that for you. Just connect your Android phone to a car with Android Auto, and you'll have what you need at your fingertips such as turn-by-turn navigation from Google Maps, your curated playlists and radio stations through Play Music, simple-to-use voice search, and reminders from Google Now. This is accessible through your car's controls, and more importantly, is far safer than fumbling around with your phone. You'll start to see Android Auto in cars later this year."

Audi said drivers will be able to access their Android device car apps using Audi MMI displays and controls. The automaker said drivers can "easily switch from the Android view and the Audi infotainment functions as desired or upon disconnecting their Android phones."

Audi added: "The addition of Android Auto in forthcoming models will not make Audi models incompatible with other smartphones."

Volvo said the Android Auto will be available on all new Volvo cars based on the new Scalable Product Architecture, starting with the 2015 XC90. The 2015 Volvo XC90 will debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

It is unknown at this point what the addition of Android Auto will add to a car's sticker price.

Edmunds says: On the surface this looks like a well thought out means of integrating phone functions into a wide variety of vehicles. We'll have to wait and see if it delivers on that promise.

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