Google is among the three big tech companies. And no one can say it does not deserve the spot. The company has developed innovations that have proven to be very useful.
The company’s flagship product is its search engine. It is undeniably the largest one out there, owing 70% of the search market share. Next to that is the video-sharing platform YouTube. But that is owned by Google too. These two alone prove how much of a powerhouse Google is.
But they are not Google’s only known products. There is also Google Maps, which 1 billion people around the world use each month. Also, there is Google Nest. It is a line of smart home products that offer homeowners conveniences and comfortable living.
On January 5, Google announced new features. This time, they are targeting cars. Google wants to improve drivers’ and travelers’ experiences using technology.
Here are more details about that.
YouTube Videos in Volvo Cars
Some car manufacturers already sell models with infotainment systems integrated with Google technology. With Google Play built into them, car owners can soon download useful apps. That includes navigation apps like Flitsmeister and Sygic, parking apps like SpotHero, charging apps like PlugShare, and many others. Indeed, those tools will help drivers have a better experience.
Google also announced that people would soon be able to access video entertainment in the car while it is parked. Meaning you can watch YouTube videos on your car’s built-in screen. That screen is probably larger and more ergonomic than your mobile phone’s screen. Additionally, that will extend your phone’s battery life. You may need it for something more important. So this is a welcome change.
The wording on Google’s announcement also implies that its door is open to other video apps. So it is possible that you will also be able to watch Twitch streams or TikToks in your car’s infotainment system.
The feature is accessible only when your car is parked. Google likely designed it like that to avoid causing road accidents.
Google said this feature would be first seen on Volvo cars. Among the models listed are V90, XC40 Recharge, and some others.
Smart Home Technology Expansion
Smart Home technology has improved many people’s lives by reducing the number of trivial tasks they have to do. For instance, you can command your appliances to turn on or off.
Some cars have also had Assistant for a while. It also grants you easy control over things in your vehicle. Now, Google is looking to bridge the two together.
Aside from entertainment, there will be more that will make Volvo car owners happy. The company says, “you’ll be able to check on and adjust even more car settings by asking Google.” You would no longer need to search for the right buttons to activate features like lane-keeping assist. Instead, you can use voice commands.
You will soon be able to do that while you are out of your car and in your home. So without braving the snow, you can turn on your car’s heating. Furthermore, you can lock or unlock the car’s door or learn about its battery status.
With this technological advancement, you will have an even more comfortable life.
Using Phones as Car Keys
Google was not kidding when it said it aims to deliver a seamless experience. Aside from the features mentioned above, there is more that’s coming.
The digital car key is one example. You can now lock, unlock, and even start supported BMW vehicles from your phone. Note that you can use only select Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel phones.
Suppose you have a phone equipped with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. You can unlock supported cars without taking that phone out at all. The process will be automatic.
There will also be a key sharing feature. That will allow your trusted friends and family members to access your car without borrowing your keys. That will offer so much convenience. Also, suppose they need something in your car, but you are away, they will be able to get it. Without this feature, they would have to wait for your return.
Google plans to launch this feature later this year. And the company plans to make the feature available to more phones and vehicles.
Improvements in Android Auto
Android Auto is now available on nearly 150 million cars around the world, Google claims. It allows Google to make your car display have more uses through your mobile phones.
In 2022, most of the top car brands have added wireless Android Auto to their newest models. So, you can kiss the cords goodbye. With Fast Pair, it will only take one tap to connect your phone and wireless Android Auto. It is now available on some BMW and Ford cars.
What if your car does not have built-in wireless support? In that case, you can use accessories like the Motorola MA! Wireless Adapter. You connect that to your car’s Android Auto-capable infotainment system. Then, that will wirelessly project Android Auto from your phone to your car display. That happens as soon as you step into your car.
Partnership with Lyft and Kakao Mobility
Many apps now support Android Auto. Some of them are navigation, parking, charging, messaging, or media apps. But Google is not done yet. This summer, it is partnering with Lyft and Kakao mobility. The tech company will integrate the services’ driver apps into Android Auto. That will allow the drivers to view and accept rides from their display. We will have to add this to the hilarious reason how YouTube views increase and prove it’s not a myth as well! Since they can also access apps like MochiMochi, Fuelio, and Prezzi Benzina, it goes beyond how it appears. The drivers will have the ability to track mileage and cost and find and pay for all types of car services.
These features were only in science fiction a few years back. But now, we have them, thanks to the company that owns YouTube, Google.
The company made the announcement for CES 2022. It planned to attend the event but pulled out due to COVID-19 concerns.