A much discussed by the readers Post revolved around the use of Google in more and more Volvo models. It is now clear that Google is only an interim solution. In the medium term, Volvo wants to rely on the Android operating system from EcarX and take Google out of service. My provocative question, what if, instead of Google, a Chinese Internet giant becomes a permanent guest in the car, is surprisingly topical.
The press report, reproduced here in excerpts, reads harmlessly, perhaps one tends to overlook it. But there is an explosive behind it that not every customer might like. If he even cares.
Next generation infotainment
With the new joint venture, Volvo Cars and EcarX will now continue and expand the development of an infotainment platform. All brands of the Geely Group and its subsidiaries can use the new system, EcarX also makes the platform available to third parties.
Experience in the automotive industry
EcarX is a relatively young, independent and fast growing technology company that has been represented globally since its expansion into Europe in December 2020. It has extensive experience in developing and integrating high quality Android-based infotainment systems for automotive brands such as Geely Auto, Lynk & Co and Proton.
Used by Volvo and other brands
With its own user interface, Volvo Cars will initially use the platform developed as part of the joint venture in Volvo and Polestar models. EcarX will integrate the platform as the exclusive marketing partner in other vehicles worldwide. The system will also be embedded in the company's existing service offering in the Chinese market. Volvo Cars and EcarX are also looking into using these automotive services on the Chinese market as well as hardware from EcarX.
Indeed it is EcarX a company co-founded by Geely owner Li Shufu. With Volvo, a European provider worldwide will rely entirely on a Chinese IT service provider for the first time. The servers for the services are then not located in the USA, as is the case with Google, but with a high degree of probability in China. Even if data centers were to be built outside of the People's Republic, the state would always have preferential access.
The fact that EcarX has a branch in Göteborgs Lindholmen and employs between 70 and 100 people there cannot be consoled. The trend is rising, and the joint venture between Volvo and EcarX will also have its headquarters in Sweden.
What Volvo is introducing is nothing more and nothing less than a change of time. More companies will follow, and Chinese service providers will increasingly maintain their server farms in Europe. It is unlikely that Volvo will no longer end up on the shopping list of European or North American customers with a Chinese service provider and its Android software. Sensitization or critical attitudes towards such things have also reached a low level in Europe.