Currently reading: New Volvo infotainment system "as good as a smartphone"
Google-developed software used in the new XC40 Recharge is based on Android OS and allows third-party apps

Volvo claims its new infotainment system, based on Google’s Android operating system (OS) and developed with the help of the American tech giant, will “be as good to use as your mobile phone”.

The new system will make its debut in the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2 electric cars and then be rolled out across the Swedish brands' model line-ups. It replaces Volvo’s bespoke system with an Android-based OS that uses apps such as Google Maps to offer sat-nav with real-time traffic information. 

Users will be able to download third-party apps – such as Spotify or Amazon Music – for functions including navigation and media streaming. The aim is to offer a suite of online services without the need for a smartphone to be connected.


The system can be controlled via touchscreen or voice control, with the latter powered by the Google Assistant system that also operates on devices such as smartphones and smart speakers.

Volvo’s software boss, Ödgärd Andersson, said the new system offers “a radical improvement” and has voice control software “well above anything that’s in any car right now”.

The system is permanently online and so will be able to transmit the car's location and other data, but Andersson suggested that drivers shouldn't have privacy concerns, because they will have to opt in to sharing information through third-party apps.

“It will work fine if you don’t want to share anything with Google," she said, "but there’s great personalisation if you do. Users can customise it to their own needs and wishes.”

Read more

Volvo reveals XC40 Recharge as first full electric model​

Citroen admits smartphones trump its in-car infotainment​

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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thesecretdriver 29 October 2019

The current satnav is one of

The current satnav is one of the worst on the market so I hope it's better.

ZenBass 29 October 2019

Voice Control

If the voice control works as well as it does with the current version if Android Auto and all you simply have to go is say

Okay Google (or the Volvo equivalent)
Play the album xxxx
Put the temperature at 18 degrees and
Take me the quickest way to work

And it actually does it , i am fine with it ....

Though my car does have physical buttons/dials for the heater controls and aux functions

As mentioned above by others , there is a happy medium ..... both can coexist together

manicm 29 October 2019


Does one want to control a car like a cellphone, especially while driving?