General Motors has announced it will integrate Google Voice Assistant, Google Navigation and the Google app ecosystem into its vehicles from 2021 onward.
The Google systems will replace GM’s current in-car voice assistant, navigation system and app shop, with all GM infotainment systems will continuing to use Android operating software.
GM says this decision was made as “many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle, and increasingly expect seamless integration between the tech in their hands and the tech in their vehicle.” The majority of smartphone users have an Android device, with the operating system accounting for more than half of all smartphones sold in the US as of Q4 2018. There is even more of a disparity between Android and Apple users globally, with Android laying claim to 76% of worldwide market share as of last month, according to Statcounter.
“Listening to customer feedback, GM will work with Google to bring new options for a voice assistant, embedded navigation and in-vehicle applications to compatible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in regions around the world beginning in 2021,” the automaker said. “Broad deployment across all GM vehicle brands is expected to roll out in the years following.”
This does not mean the GM-specific apps in the GM app shop will go away, thankfully. In a statement, GM’s vice president for global connected customer expeirence, Santiago Chamorro, said the automaker “will continue to offer our own unique infotainment features that only GM can deliver, such as service recommendations, vehicle health status, in-vehicle commerce and more, with the Google applications and services complementing our offerings.”
“We are re-envisioning the future in-vehicle customer experience, and this is just the first step. The integration of select Google technology and services into our vehicle infotainment systems will foster a more connected and efficient driving experience,” Chamorro added.
The Google Voice Assistant in future GM vehicles will enable hands-free calling and texting from the GM pages in the infotainment system and also allow them to perform other hands-free actions such as changing the audio track, changing the temperature of the vehicle and more. Google Embedded Navigation will be familiar to anyone who has used Google Maps before and will provide up-to-date route info, along with gas and EV charge station location data and much more.
“GM is a trailblazer with Android in automotive and a leader in vehicle connectivity,”added Google engineering vice president, Patrick Brady. “We’re incredibly excited to work with them to transform the way people consume media, stay in touch, navigate and access information on the go.”