If you own a Volvo that is equipped with the Android Automotive head unit, you can now install the Waze navigation application through the Google Play Store. Yes, you are no longer limited to just Google Maps on the fully Google-integrated system of Volvo cars.
For those unfamiliar with the matter, new Volvo vehicles are equipped with a fully integrated Google system. Hence, the head unit of Volvo cars would have its own Google Play Store, Google Maps, and Google Assistant. It is a different system than your mobile phone, hence Waze was previously unavailable on the Android Automotive’s version of the Google Play Store.
The benefit of Volvo’s Google integrated system is that it does not require you to connect your phone via Android Auto to get Google Maps or now Waze running on the screen. Volvo says that with Waze now being available on the head unit, it “utilises more of the centre screen in the Volvo user interface you’re most familiar with, making navigation more comfortable with a bigger and bolder eye-level display area.”
Volvo Global Head of New Car Programmes & Operation Strategy, Erik Severinson said, “We’re continuing to expand our in-car app offer to bring more options and benefits to our customers, allowing them to personalise their car. We’re committed to continuously improving the experience in Volvo cars through our in-house software development and ongoing collaborations with tech companies such as Google and Waze.”
To develop the Waze application for the Android Automotive system, an Android emulator was offered on the Volvo Cars Developer Portal. With that, the team at Waze could develop and test the in-car app virtually, alongside the in-car infotainment system. This dual testing allowed the team to deliver a high-quality user experience before launching in customer cars today.
Waze Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Aron Di Castro said, “We’re thrilled to announce our collaboration with Volvo Cars as their car owners around the world can now access the best of Waze real-time navigation, routing and traffic alerts through the car’s infotainment system. Having Waze’s real-time navigation, routing, and alerts seamlessly displayed in the car, without needing to connect your phone to the car, makes for a simplified and seamless driving experience.”