Volvo's Sensus system is already good, but it may get even better.
Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is one of our favorites in the industry right now. The large touchscreen system is highly intuitive and has extremely fast response. Aside from some small hiccups when you first start the car, we think Sensus is nearly perfect. Not content to settle with "nearly perfect," Volvo is teaming up with Google to develop its next-generation infotainment system. Google has its hands in several places in the automotive industry, including self-driving technology, but this seems like the best use of Google's talents.
Volvo says its next infotainment system will be Android-based, and integrate voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services. The current system already makes use of Android Auto and Apple Car Play, but this new system should take in-car connectivity to the next level. Google and Volvo will even work together to embed applications into the car. When we recently drove the 2018 Volvo XC60, we were already impressed by the number of apps that were available on the system. Now, Google will work with Volvo to add thousands of additional apps which can be downloaded and updated through the Play Store.
Since the new system will run on Android, these apps will update automatically in real time as they do on your phone. Volvo hasn't announced what these special apps will do and how many of the car's functions they will be able to take advantage of, but the possibilities are truly endless. We love the idea of having a Google-powered infotainment system because it will have the ability to be controlled by voice, freeing up the driver's attention. Volvo needs to be commended for finally realizing that car infotainment can be made much better by letting a technology company take over.