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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have 2 XC60s and I just got rid of my S60 for the XC40 Recharge (got it yesterday, Sage Green). When it comes to tech, I’m pretty savvy (it comes from the willingness to press buttons to see what happens, which is why I could never work for the Defense Department!). I have years of Sensus experience, and now have the Google system.

I really don’t understand why Google can’t get CarPlay working yet, or SiriusXM (even though the Sirius XM hardware is installed). I can get my calls/make calls from my favorites, I have access to my Apple Music playlists, etc, and I can stream SiriusXM from the iPhone app. Not perfect, but it is what it is.

My initial impressions of the Google system is that it provides LESS than Sensus, and Volvo’s focus on safety has been abandoned by Google:

1. Folding headrests: I prefer to have them down when nobody is in the back seat.

Sensus: swipe right, tap the “fold headrests” tile - after a few times, I don’t have to look because the tile is big enough and I know where to tap.

Google: tap setting gear, tap Controls, tap “fold headrests”

An extra tap with Google, but it requires more attention on the screen than swiping and tapping a tile on the screen

So, I figured that because so many articles rave about the Google system and its voice controls, I tried “Hey google, fold headrests” and it searched for locations on the map. Apparently in Maryland, there are no places called Fold Headrests. I learned that Google voice really only controls climate and media. So did my Sensus.

2. Pilot Assist

On the Sensus system, I can tap the left D pad center button for Adaptive Cruise Control, then add/cancel pilot assist by using my left thumb to tap the right arrow. My eyes stayed on the road. My understanding was that it was like this on the XC40 Recharge until an April update.

Sensus: left thumb tab center of D pad then right arrow for pilot assist
Google: Pilot assist is either tied to activating adaptive cruise control or it is not. Period. You have to drill down on the screen to turn steering assist on or off, and at that point, it’s tied to the center D pad. So if you don’t want to use Pilot Assist, you have to turn it off on the main screen. There are many times I want adaptive cruise control but NOT Pilot Assist. So I have to look at the center screen for 3 taps. So much for Safety. Why would they take that away? How about this: one screen button that says “steering assist auto on with adaptive cruise control” and other that says “steering assist off”, but it lets you add it manually the old and better way without looking away from the road?

3. Steering wheel screen display:

Sensus: You can choose the map, media source/info, etc.
Google: Map or nothing. Period. I understand that a third choice, car status, was taken away by an update. Again, why?

So Google decided “nobody wants to see their media source on one screen and their map on another. What was the thinking here? Did they look at Sensus and think “let’s keep things that make sense and that drivers want, but add things we can do better”?

4. Messages. Okay, I know without CarPlay I don’t have access to iMessage. But while in the car, I did get an iMessage notification of a text. I have not figured out if I can initiate one in the Google system through iMessage, but did see a text come in. I did not tap it to see if I could listen/respond. So, anyone more familiar with this please let me know. Not a knock on the Google system - I don’t expect it to be able to give me access to my iMessages, but if it does, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

5. Choices. It appears that when I go into settings, I have fewer choices.

Sensus: You could swipe right and have access to various safety feature controls, etc.
Google: Limited access.

So, Google, if your voice system is so good, why not allow voice access to everything (or most things) that require multiple taps (which means eyes not on the road)? How about “Hey Google, turn on Pilot Assist”, “Hey Google, turn off Pilot Assist”, “Hey Google, change steering to firm”, etc. Climate and Media only is not an improvement…it’s a lateral move.

6. Google Apps

We have a very inexpensive Android tablet that my kids needed for limited reasons. So, I logged into my Google account on the tablet, added SiriusXM and Waze, and hoped that I would be able to have access to them when I logged-in to my Google account in the XC40. No such luck. Why would Google not allow access to those apps? Sure, it’s a software issue, but for all the bluster from Google how great they are with software, I’m unimpressed.

Conclusion

I’m completely underwhelmed with the Google system. If anything, it’s a step backwards in terms of safety and functionality. I did learn that Google’s sales people are amazing to make Volvo think that what they have to offer is leaps and bounds ahead of what Volvo had already. So far, it’s nothing more than a lateral move at best.

Perhaps future updates are coming to make the system better…until then, it’s just clunky. (Of course, those with Android phones may find better integration - but the functionality that is not iPhone/Android related is sub-par.)

Final note: My ride to work this morning was wonderful in the XC40 Recharge. I can live with the Google system, and will be happier when CarPlay and SiriusXM are finally added.

Thoughts or suggestions welcome.
 

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Agree 100%. We have a XC40 Recharge sitting in the garage that by day 2 and 150 miles wouldn't (and still won't) connect to anything — GPS, LTE, WiFi.

On the way home from the dealership, we punched in our address (which it found via autocomplete). Hitting the appropriate button on the screen instead rerouted us to a similar address in a town 2 hours away.

Whoever made the decision about Pilot Assist reconfiguration needs to find a new job.

This thing was not ready for prime time. I'm so embarrassed that I suggested this as my husband's new car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agree 100%. We have a XC40 Recharge sitting in the garage that by day 2 and 150 miles wouldn't (and still won't) connect to anything — GPS, LTE, WiFi.

On the way home from the dealership, we punched in our address (which it found via autocomplete). Hitting the appropriate button on the screen instead rerouted us to a similar address in a town 2 hours away.

Whoever made the decision about Pilot Assist reconfiguration needs to find a new job.

This thing was not ready for prime time. I'm so embarrassed that I suggested this as my husband's new car.
The car is great, the interface with Google is barely a beta version.
 

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2021 Volvo P8. MFD 1/21. 20" ride. OTA 11/02. White aka ORKA.
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Google Map: Can find it through desktop, but not when punching in identical address in Car. I understand it's a lake-house location, but it's unsettling that it shows up elsewhere but not from Car. HHmmm..... I'm almost concerned to take the risk and assume the "closest address" available for selection is just a few doors down. Would hate to find out later it's 2-hours out !
 

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I'm fully in agreement with your complaints - especially the numb-skull change to how Steering Assist is enabled.

The limited capability of the Google Apps can be laid at Google's feet, as they are treading carefully (too carefully?) into what's best for the automotive experience.

However most of the other complaints are squarely the fault of Volvo. They are responsible for the drivers display and the user interface of the infotainment system, as well as the behavior of all the physical controls.
 

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The pilot assist change is so dumb. Hopefully they will revert it. It is part of why I have not updated my software.

I have to say though that I get great joy from driving the P8. Having to drive a loaner ice a couple of times made me appreciate the P8 even more.

I hated the google maps on the ice Volvo I borrowed. It seemed a lot slower than the P8s. I also hope and expect things to continually improve.
 

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I have ranted a few times about Volvo's decision on Google's AAOS selection. It may have been the right decision in 2-3 years, but now? Makes no sense. We have a 21 T5 and P8 and while I love the P8 and driving it, the T5 Sensus experience is light years better. Sure saying "ok google..." is nice, but in day to day use how often do you do that vs. interact with other features of the car?

Clearly dev and marketing at Volvo had some decisions to make, they selected AAOS and I am sure as dates approached to lock things down and features were not ready the choice to ship on time or wait for features means marketing won. What I worry about is now that the car is out and the 22 XC60 is next up with AAOS they have their hands full fixing bugs before the mainstream XC60 ships vs adding features. Who knows when we will see the missing features.

Most people buying an EV realize to some extent they are signing up form something new and thus some growing pains, but the mainstream XC60 buyer will not likely be as tolerant as the EV buyer.

I do wish Sensus were in the P8, but it is what it is. Hopefully Volvo will get the bugs and missing items worked out soon enough. I would really like to think about replacing her T5 with a C40, but i need to see some consistent improvements in AAOS and just the reliability of the car for a few months.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I also discovered this: when listening to content through Bluetooth and the volume is adjusted, the volume bar appears a the top of the center screen, If you tap the down arrow, you get various volume controls, each with an icon next to it. While most are easy to figure out, there is a phone icon near the top followed by a bell icon, and then at the bottom the phone and bell icons appear a second time. So what does the bell control, and why are there two of each? If anyone has figured it out, please share.

When the cameras are on, you get two buttons at the bottom: one for toggling on/off the parking assist, and one for the reverse braking (and if you tap that one, you are asked to confirm you really wan to do so - clearly a safety measure to make sure you really want to disable it - not sure why you would, but perhaps there are some instances where you may want to do so). However, there are no volume controls for the sounds when on this screen - perhaps it’s only me, but common sense would say that this is where you want to add sound control, right? In Sensus, you can go in to the settings menu and adjust various sounds, including parking assist. With the Google system, you cannot (at least I I have not found settings where you can’t adjust system sounds - the only place I see a list of systems sounds is when you activate the volume bar and touch the down arrow, but the parking/system sounds do not appear to be there).

If anyone can shed some light on this, it will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have ranted a few times about Volvo's decision on Google's AAOS selection. It may have been the right decision in 2-3 years, but now? Makes no sense. We have a 21 T5 and P8 and while I love the P8 and driving it, the T5 Sensus experience is light years better. Sure saying "ok google..." is nice, but in day to day use how often do you do that vs. interact with other features of the car?

Clearly dev and marketing at Volvo had some decisions to make, they selected AAOS and I am sure as dates approached to lock things down and features were not ready the choice to ship on time or wait for features means marketing won. What I worry about is now that the car is out and the 22 XC60 is next up with AAOS they have their hands full fixing bugs before the mainstream XC60 ships vs adding features. Who knows when we will see the missing features.

Most people buying an EV realize to some extent they are signing up form something new and thus some growing pains, but the mainstream XC60 buyer will not likely be as tolerant as the EV buyer.

I do wish Sensus were in the P8, but it is what it is. Hopefully Volvo will get the bugs and missing items worked out soon enough. I would really like to think about replacing her T5 with a C40, but i need to see some consistent improvements in AAOS and just the reliability of the car for a few months.
Completely agree! I am enjoying the ride, the one pedal driving mode is super-intuitive (the one thing that I had to think about was when I was turning onto another road where I did not have to stop first - about two turns later the feel of pulling back slightly on the gas…I mean the “non-gas” pedal felt natural). It’s a quite a solid vehicle.
 

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I also discovered this: when listening to content through Bluetooth and the volume is adjusted, the volume bar appears a the top of the center screen, If you tap the down arrow, you get various volume controls, each with an icon next to it. While most are easy to figure out, there is a phone icon near the top followed by a bell icon, and then at the bottom the phone and bell icons appear a second time. So what does the bell control, and why are there two of each? If anyone has figured it out, please share.

When the cameras are on, you get two buttons at the bottom: one for toggling on/off the parking assist, and one for the reverse braking (and if you tap that one, you are asked to confirm you really wan to do so - clearly a safety measure to make sure you really want to disable it - not sure why you would, but perhaps there are some instances where you may want to do so). However, there are no volume controls for the sounds when on this screen - perhaps it’s only me, but common sense would say that this is where you want to add sound control, right? In Sensus, you can go in to the settings menu and adjust various sounds, including parking assist. With the Google system, you cannot (at least I I have not found settings where you can’t adjust system sounds - the only place I see a list of systems sounds is when you activate the volume bar and touch the down arrow, but the parking/system sounds do not appear to be there).

If anyone can shed some light on this, it will be greatly appreciated.
Ditto on sound inquiry for Parking and Reversing etc. It's very, very soft - would like the ability to control level of volume. Same goes for the left/right indicator -- will be nice to soften it, or at any level of choice.
 

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On the camera screen there should be a gear icon in the upper right that appears at the same time as the 360 button and the individual camera buttons. In addition to changing the volume for the obstacle warnings, you can tweak the guidance lines.
 

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After dropping/abandoning my colicky XC40 P8 at the retailer yesterday, they sent me home in a V60CC (which is the other car we have at home).

I didn't have a USB-A lightening cable with me, so I just had to connect my iPhone via bluetooth, something I haven't done in the V60 we own. I found the Bluetooth music implementation is so much nicer in Sensus than in the current iteration of the Google system. When I asked Siri to play my weekly Apple Music "favorites" playlist, a lovely list popped onto the display with the various album art in place, something that the Bluetooth in the P8 did not seem capable of achieving.

I think Volvo paid too dear a price to jump in with Google. It just wasn't ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After dropping/abandoning my colicky XC40 P8 at the retailer yesterday, they sent me home in a V60CC (which is the other car we have at home).

I didn't have a USB-A lightening cable with me, so I just had to connect my iPhone via bluetooth, something I haven't done in the V60 we own. I found the Bluetooth music implementation is so much nicer in Sensus than in the current iteration of the Google system. When I asked Siri to play my weekly Apple Music "favorites" playlist, a lovely list popped onto the display with the various album art in place, something that the Bluetooth in the P8 did not seem capable of achieving.

I think Volvo paid too dear a price to jump in with Google. It just wasn't ready.
Swipe right on your screen and you have access to your safety features, including folding headrests - you don't have to drill down through menus while driving. CarPlay works great with Sensus - looking forward to it in the XC40.
 

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Swipe right on your screen and you have access to your safety features, including folding headrests - you don't have to drill down through menus while driving. CarPlay works great with Sensus - looking forward to it in the XC40.
Yes, the other car we own is a 2020 V60 Cross Country, and I'm all in on it. I have a feeling we might be fighting over who gets to drive it.
 

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everybody chill, it's Google, they make software, they know what they're doing. Volvo is the first production vehicle with it and there's more than a half dozen other cars about to come online with the Google system. There will be updates, it will get better, man there's a lot of whining going on. Car makers historically sucked at the software, let the software giant do software, just be patient.
 

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everybody chill, it's Google, they make software, they know what they're doing. Volvo is the first production vehicle with it and there's more than a half dozen other cars about to come online with the Google system. There will be updates, it will get better, man there's a lot of whining going on. Car makers historically sucked at the software, let the software giant do software, just be patient.
I have zero faith in any company that they know what they are doing. Google knows things, but has botched up as much as they have been successful with. Even if the "know what they are doing" Google has proven that they pivot and abandon things out of the blue. No car I ever had has had as many bugs as the P8 has. Nor has any car I have owned short shipped the car with missing features to be added later (One Acura CarPlay was released about 6 months later).

I really like the P8 and would take a C40 tomorrow if I could unload her T5 and break even, but will mainstream buyers accept this quirky buggy experience. We will find out soon as the 22 XC60 has AAOS.
 

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I have zero faith in any company that they know what they are doing. Google knows things, but has botched up as much as they have been successful with. Even if the "know what they are doing" Google has proven that they pivot and abandon things out of the blue. No car I ever had has had as many bugs as the P8 has. Nor has any car I have owned short shipped the car with missing features to be added later (One Acura CarPlay was released about 6 months later).

I really like the P8 and would take a C40 tomorrow if I could unload her T5 and break even, but will mainstream buyers accept this quirky buggy experience. We will find out soon as the 22 XC60 has AAOS.
yes yes, the sky is falling. My point is, this isn't just a new software, it's an entirely NEW MODEL. Up until now, the software had to be impecable on production day because whatever was in the car when it was sold is what would be there for the life of the car. Now they're adopting the Tesla model which is frequent updates, which is how smart phones, tablets, and even computers work. So it will get better, and that's why they were willing to risk going to production with some bugs and lacking features, BECAUSE GOOGLE HAS A LARGE TEAM OF ENGINEERS WORKING FULL TIME JUST ON THE SOFTWARE, unlike car manufacturers which rarely have a large, in house, dedicated team working on the software. Holy craps, peeps.
 

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Google is not driving this bus. AAOS provides the core operating system and the Google Apps. Volvo is responsible for car integration, the user interface of the infotainment system, and most importantly the final packaging of the product and its delivery to the car.

This is very much like the way Google handles Android for phones. Google works up a new reference version of Android and publishes it, then it is the responsibility of companies like Samsung to take it, make all their proprietary tweaks and tunes to it, then roll it out to their phones.

I'm not making any excuses for Google, as there is plenty of work for them to do with both the basic OS and the apps. However the two interns that Volvo has working on tailoring AAOS to the P8 are not going to be doing anything truly significant to improve the Android part of the car anytime soon. :(
 
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