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Google Adds More Vehicles That Offer Voice-Powered ‘Built-in’ Automotive Tech  

Drivers of the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will be able to adjust HVAC, control media and perform other actions with their voice, thanks to Google Assistant functionality embedded in the vehicle. 

General Motors announced on Monday (Sept. 27) that these vehicles, which will begin production in October, will have Google Built-in as a standard feature on some trim levels. Drivers will have access to Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play right on the vehicle display rather than having to connect their smartphone and project it onto the center screen, which means Google apps and services will be integrated into the vehicle. 

Drivers will be able to control vehicle functions by voice or on the steering wheel, including phone calls and messaging (SMS) with a paired phone, audio volume, AM/FM radio or SiriusXM channel, navigation using Google Maps and HVAC. 

The 2022 Tahoe and Suburban will continue to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, with buyers selecting which operating system they prefer.  

Expanding Availability 

The Google auto-embeds in Chevy SUVs mark the latest additions to an expanding list of vehicles that support the built-in tech, which will also be available on vehicles from Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Renault and Volvo Cars, according to a Google blog post. 

Starting in the second half of 2022, Google will also start to integrate into Honda models, after the Japanese giant announced last week that it will appear in a brand-new model that will launch in North America and then expand globally in stages.

Google Built-in first appeared in the Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge, which were launched in the second half of 2020, followed by plans to continue the rollout of the Android-powered infotainment system to four other models. 

General Motors announced in September 2019 its plans to integrate Google’s Voice Assistant, Navigation and App ecosystem in GM infotainment systems in 2021. It said at the time that many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle, increasingly expecting seamless integration between the tech in their hands and the tech in their vehicle. 

“We are re-envisioning the future in-vehicle customer experience, and this is just the first step,” Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience for GM, said when announcing those plans. 

Seamless Access 

Not long after, Ford announced in February that beginning in 2023, millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles globally will be powered by Android, with Google apps and services built-in.  

“This innovation will unleash our teams to innovate for Ford and Lincoln customers, while seamlessly providing access to Google’s world-class apps and services,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said when announcing the deal. 

PYMNTS has reported that voice operating systems will power the connected economy, and that Android has a 73% share of smartphones worldwide. With consumers accustomed to interacting with these offerings in several connected devices, they will want to streamline them into a single voice-activated command, whether in the car, at home, at work or anywhere else. 

Read more: Voice Operating Systems Like Alexa Will Power the Connected Economy: Here’s Why

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