Volvo inks agreement with Pandora for connected car radio

Following on from the launch of an updated cloud-based connected car platform for its vehicles, Volvo this week inked a content agreement with online music service Pandora that will see  internet radio streamed to select vehicles starting in May this year.

At the end of 2012 Volvo inked an agreement with telecoms equipment supplier Ericsson to develop a connected vehicle cloud platform based on Ericsson’s Multiservice Delivery Platform to provide infotainment, apps and communication services to a range of Volvo’s new cars.

According to Volvo the platform, called Sensus Connect, can be upgraded remotely and allows drivers to do everything from pay for their parking to using navigation services and other cloud-based information services (Wikipedia, Yelp, and the like).

The platform was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week.

“Sensus Connect offers the first-ever embedded solution supported by Pandora, the internet radio service with more than 76 million active monthly listeners,” said David Holecek, connectivity brand manager at Volvo Cars, adding that other vehicle manufacturers only support the service through the driver’s mobile device via audio or docking interface.

“Drivers can now seamlessly switch between their favourite music on high-end speakers and having their text messages read out loud without taking their hands off the wheel. And your car will not only tell you when it’s time to visit the garage but also will suggest an appointment for you at your Volvo dealership,” Holecek said.

Drivers will also be able to turn the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot, serving up the connectivity via an integrated SIM.

“Technology should make your life easier… It’s not about offering a thousand apps; it’s about giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed it,” Holecek said.

“It’s all about giving everyone an enjoyable, easy-to-use and intuitive experience. There is no point in filling a car with technology if it comes off as overwhelming, so our main focus is always to give our customers the best experience available and make it easy to digest. Our cloud-based apps update seamlessly,” he said.

Volvo wasn’t the only vehicle manufacturer showcasing its connected car pitch at CES in Las Vegas this year.Ford and Toyota also demonstrated connected car concepts geared towards making their vehicles safer to operate, and integrating a more diverse range of mobile services.

Volvo’s latest announcement marks the second agreement the vehicle manufacturer has struck with a music streaming provider. Last year the company inked a deal with Spotify that brought that music streaming service to select Volvo car models, and at the time said it expects to sign more of these agreements as the car becomes a central connectivity hub in many countries.

According to telecoms industry body GSMA and research firm SBD the global connected car market will be worth €39bn in 2018, up from €13bn in 2012, representing a huge opportunity for telcos and cloud service providers.

One comment

  1. Avatar Derek Clarke 15/01/2014 @ 3:15 pm

    It’s a long time since it started but Pandora is as useful as a chocolate teapot outside the US.

    At least Spotify works in the UK

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