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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The VW Jetta and Jetta GLI received substantive updates for 2022.

Volkswagen

The 2022 model year is an important one for Volkswagen. Beyond the load of tech and safety improvements it announced earlier this year, 2022 brings a new crossover to the VW catalog. The venerable Jetta and its sport counterpart, the GLI, received substantive updates for the new model year, and today, Volkswagen announced pricing details for both models.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI The GLI gets VW's excellent 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster.Volkswagen

Pricing for the cars will start at $20,195 for the Jetta and $30,995 for the Jetta GLI before a $995 destination charge is applied. Volkswagen shuffled the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine from the new Taos crossover to the standard Jetta line for the new model year and the GLI gets a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Both cars get a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment and both can be upgraded with either an eight-speed automatic transmission in the Jetta or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in the Jetta GLI.

The Jetta and GLI come with new front and rear bumpers, new exterior color choices, and updated wheel designs. The base Jetta S gets standard features that include 16-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a digital gauge cluster with VW Digital Cockpit, a 6.5-inch display, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI The Jetta offers a roomier option for buyers outgrowing the Golf hatchback.Volkswagen

The GLI lineup has been shaved to just the Autobahn trim for 2022, which comes with a VAQ limited-slip differential, an adaptive damping system, drive mode selections, a sport exhaust, 18-inch wheels, a 10.25-inch digital cockpit gauge cluster, an 8-inch touchscreen, a BeatsAudio stereo, SiriusXM radio, and a suite of advanced driver aids.

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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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