In-Car Tech

Volvo rolling out its new Android-powered infotainment system to more models

Volvo and Google have partnered on a new infotainment system.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volvo's new Android-powered infotainment technology, which was built in partnership with Google, will begin making its way into new Volvo cars and SUVs from 2022.

That date is important. It's the beginning of the company's broader portfolio update, which includes the new Volvo XC90. Volvo says that the tech will eventually make it into the XC60 and S90 as well, signaling the company's commitment to those nameplates.

The Android system has Google apps and services built in. It's designed to give users the same experience that they get from using an Android phone, only hands-free. The Volvo XC40 Recharge was the first Volvo to carry the system. The new C40 Recharge will have it as well.

Volvo's Android infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

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Volvo's Digital Services package includes access to Google apps and services (including Google Maps), the Volvo On Call app, and wireless phone charger. The package also gives users all the data required to run the services. Some of these features vary based on market.

Last year, Volvo announced an expansion of its Volvo On Call app, adding Digital Service Booking and Roadside Assistance to the portfolio. The booking services allows users to schedule service with their dealership via app. The Roadside Assistance allows users to request assistance and then track the service vehicle's progress much like Uber users can track their arriving ride.

The new infotainment system uses Google Assistant to control the car's temperature, set a destination in the navigation system, play music and podcasts, and send messages. Owers can manage their music and media apps by utilizing the Google Play store.

In addition to the new infotainment system, the XC60, S90, and V90 are also equipped with Volvo's lates advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). There are also new exterior paint color and interior upholstery options for the coming model years, including a leather-free option in all 60 series models.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA
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Volvo recently announced its intent to become an all-electric vehicle company by 2030. They also have a plan to sell vehicles exclusively online and slim down their product options.

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Owners of 2020 and 2021 model year Infiniti vehicles will be eligible.

Infiniti

Apple CarPlay is a great feature that can add maps, streaming audio, and voice controls to even base model vehicles that would otherwise lack such technology. It also offers a standardized interface that works similarly to a smartphone's built-in software, so there's no confusion about how to operate the system. Until recently, users had to have their phones physically tethered to the vehicle with a wired connection, but many automakers have begun offering wireless connectivity. Infiniti is one of them, but in an unusual step, the company says that it will upgrade older model year vehicles with the technology at no cost.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay The upgrades will be free for owners.Infiniti

This means that if you own a 2020 or 2021 Q50, Q60, QX50, or QX80, you are eligible for the upgrade. Wireless Apple CarPlay became available for Infiniti vehicles starting with the 2022 model year, so it's a new feature for the automaker. The first model to support the feature was the 2022 QX55 and the new 2022 QX80 will offer the tech with its 12.3-inch touchscreen system. The 2022 Q50 and Q60 will both leave the factory with the feature, as will the upcoming QX60.

It's unclear how or if the upgrade will affect other vehicle systems, but it's a worthy move for anyone who owns a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti vehicle, if only to boost resale value down the road. Cars such as the 2021 Q50 came standard with a dual-screen infotainment system and wired Apple CarPlay, so the ability to go wireless would be a big bonus for some drivers.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay Owners have until March 31, 2022 to complete the upgrade.Infiniti

If you own a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti model, you have until March 31, 2022, to complete the upgrade. Infiniti says its dealers will perform the update at no cost to owners, so make your appointments now. The automaker has not announced plans to offer wireless Android Auto.

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New sports car

The Acura Integra is coming back in 2022

This is all we know about the new Integra's styling.

Acura

Secrets are hard to keep these days. It seems like new products always end up being leaked by one of the hundreds of people involved in the development process, to the point that even the most secretive companies have a hard time unveiling a product that people don't already know about. That wasn't the case this week, though. After announcing the final version of its NSX supercar at Monterey Car Week, Acura took to the skies with an impressive drone show that eventually spelled out a message no one expected to see: The Integra is coming back in 2022.



The original car launched in 1986, and its legend grew over time. After accumulating dozens of awards and spawning an entire industry around customizing and enhancing the Integra, Honda and Acura discontinued the car in 2001. We saw a successor to the crown in the Acura RSX for a few short years afterward, but it's been 15 years since a small, tossable sports car has graced the Acura catalog. Granted, Honda has been on a tear with the Civic Si and Civic Type-R, but there has been a hole in the Acura lineup for some time now.


Acura Integra The original Integra is the stuff of legend.Acura


Waiting is the hardest part, as they say. Other than the gorgeous drone display and tantalizingly mysterious teaser photo, we know nothing, which is a difficult spot to be as a car enthusiast. There are a few details, though. The car will return in 2022 as a "compact premium entrant," according to the press release. Company VP and Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda also said that the car is "returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in every way – design, performance and the overall driving experience."

Given parent company Honda's success with performance versions of the Civic, we're optimistic that the 2022 Integra will put its compact dimensions to good use on the road and on the track. We'll have to be patient, though, because official details won't become available until closer to the car's introduction in 2022.


2022 Acura Integra Acura shared the new Integra's logo.Acura

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