Joining the parade of auto manufacturers taking infotainment and car-connectivity to new heights this week is Volvo, whose new, upgraded Sensus Connect infotainment system was launched this week. Sensus Connect offers an intuitive take on the “fully connected” driving experience.
Volvo’s cloud-based system is not unique in the industry, but it is one of the first to smoothly integrate numerous apps into a single seamless system. It’s the first system that features built-in Pandora internet radio connectivity, and by working with service providers like HERE, Yelp, Glympse and Park&Pay, Volvo highlights a trend toward manufacturers letting suppliers produce the apps rather than developing systems in-house.
This focus on partnering with the best apps means that Sensus Connect-equipped Volvos (that is, all 2014 models) can provide thousands of radio stations, navigation options downloaded to and from smartphones, Wikipedia connections, and even an integrated park-and-pay system once the destination is reached. Smartphone apps also include remote start functions and pre-heating and cooling of the car. Text-to-speech message delivery and service appointment reminders are also available.
“Two of my favorite parts of the new Sensus Connect are Glympse, an app where you can share your position with others to see on their phones, perfect when carpooling or visiting a friend’s house for the first time and the fact that the entire car works as a Wi-Fi hotspot for all your connected devices, using an integrated roof-top antenna to ensure the best possible signal reception,” says David Holecek, Volvo Cars’ Connectivity brand manager.
Sensus Connect will be available in all 2014 Volvo models. Owners of cars with the first-generation Sensus Connect will be able to receive upgrades to the new system.