Volvo has announced that it is working with Google to embed the voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system, which will be based on Google’s Android operating system.

The carmaker says that with an Android system, new apps and software updates will be available in real-time and can be automatically applied, offering drivers up-to-date information and predictive services.

“Bringing Google services into Volvo cars will accelerate innovation in connectivity and boost our development in applications and connected services. Soon, Volvo drivers will have direct access to thousands of in-car apps that make daily life easier and the connected in-car experience more enjoyable,” said Henrik Green, senior VP of R&D at Volvo Cars.

Volvo’s current Sensus infotainment system on the XC60

The Google Assistant provides a central voice interface for the car that allows drivers to control in-car functions such as the air con, and use apps to play music and send messages. This helps reduce driver distraction. Google Maps will also provide map and traffic data in real time, keeping drivers informed about traffic situations and proactively suggesting alternative routes.

Volvo says that it will continue to develop its own apps, software and connected services. The first Android-based Sensus system will launch “in a couple of years from now”.