Volvo online services - EcarX replaces Google

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.

EcarX instead of Google - Volvo relies on Chinese service providers
EcarX instead of Google - Volvo relies on Chinese service providers

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.

5 thoughts on "Volvo online services - EcarX replaces Google"

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    I think it's good and right that the blog informs in its unexcited way about such developments and points to their possible consequences.

    I am sad when it is commented that the development is inevitable, there is no alternative and it doesn't matter whether the smartphone or the car sends data to China or the USA.

    My perception is much more "optimistic". At the moment I still feel able to change my location without a data trail. And I would like it if it stayed that way.

    My 3 cars are all offline. And if I turn off my smartphone before getting in, I'm offline too. Telephones can do that, they can go from A to B offline. If cars can no longer do that, then it is a new quality and worth pointing out, I think.

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    Does anyone know? Diving & test drive was once the fixed ritual whenever someone proudly showed me their recently purchased car. The trunk was once important to some.

    For a few years now things have suddenly been very different. The hood stays closed. You can quickly get to the "essentials". So the touchscreen, its menu, maybe the voice control and certainly to connect the cell phone.

    After a few colorful pictures and maybe a song or two you get out again without having moved (or heard) the mobile. The proud owner looks at me expectantly, the moment stretches embarrassingly and he asks: "It's a great car, isn't it?"

    And I confirm this just as obediently as quickly. "Yes! Yes, that’s something. "
    And to be believable, I hastily add that it is fascinating how well it works between smartphone and car and that the sound is really amazing. Inwardly, to be honest, I hold my head ...

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    If I put on my aluminum hat and think about it, it could also be that it doesn't matter which system is running in the car, as long as it basically allows over-the-air access to data.

    Huawei network technology should be integrated in pretty much all networks, including in Europe, in some form. And if we want to believe our American friends, this will at least enable “the Chinese” to record the data traffic. If you are more motivated, maybe also to actively query data.

    Then the child has almost already fallen into the well with the data collection and we will not get away from that, since many workshops are already in a fix if a fault has to be looked for without a diagnostic system.

    The only thing left then is to generate a bunch of accompanying data in order to disguise the actual concern. So I go to the supermarket, then to the hardware store and then to the swimming pool when I really only need a little something from the drugstore. Is also not in the spirit of the inventor.

    You have to come to terms with a certain potential for monitoring options, if only because hardly anyone leaves the house without a mobile phone. And our American friends are particularly good at monitoring the telephone, if Edward Snowden is to be believed.

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    It doesn't matter where the employees are, the data flies through the world and is evaluated by analysis companies. To be told, the all-season tires are enough for my driving profile, or I should use winter tires in the mountains and get an offer is still the nicest idea ... those not so nice go in the direction of Cambridge Analytica, social credit system or points card in Flensburg ...

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    So it is questionable whether the Chinese, but also the Americans, will implement the EU data protection regulations ... It does not matter where the server is located and whether Google or EcarX or other software. Most likely, Volvo drivers have to give permission for Volvo and Co. to use the data or parts of them for their purposes.
    Greeting André

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