Google HD map technology is hitting the road.
Swedish sister brands Volvo and Polestar will be the world's first automakers to use Google's new HD map software, designed to aid autonomous driving technology.
In two separate announcements, the sister companies declared their intent to use the tech, with the Polestar 3 and Volvo EX90 being the first two models earmarked for its inclusion. The technology isn't public-facing like Google Maps. Instead, it's an additional layer of data added to Google Maps for use by Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous driving technology.
"These developments are the direct result of our strong relationship with Google and show the advantages of integrating the innovative Android Automotive OS in our cars," says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO.
Drivers likely won't access or see the extra data unless it's relevant while manually driving and contains details not normally available in traditional maps. It will be there to feed driver assistance and autonomy systems critical details like precise lane-level and localization data such as road signs to help them with orientation on the road.
"Building on our long history of mapping the world, Google's new HD map is designed specifically for automakers and we're excited to continue partnering with leading car manufacturers like Polestar to improve the safety and comfort of drivers everywhere," says Jorgen Behrens, VP and General Manager of Geo Automotive at Google.
Google HD map is being made available to all automakers using Google Automotive Services, and Volvo has also confirmed it will be using the technology. As the two companies are linked, they will both be using the technology in systems like Pilot Assist.
The Polestar 3 is due to arrive later in 2023 as the EV maker's first SUV and will include another Google-related piece of technology that has now been added to the Polestar 2. By means of over-the-air update, Google Assistant-enabled devices can now control your Polestar 2.
The features allow customers to control their cars remotely for functions like preconditioning the HVAC system, unlocking doors, and checking the battery status. The feature is starting to roll out in the US before making its way across other markets and will be pre-installed in the Polestar 3.