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I think that in too many cases, to try to keep up with Tesla, brands are releasing EVs that are overly loaded with new technology. And where Tesla is a software company who is catching up quickly on how to build cars, these car companies are not as swift to master the domain of SW. And that is the hiccup.

Some of the most reliable cars, as it pertains to technology, were our 2012 Nissan Leaf (which overall was not cutting edge infotainment, just battery, and even then the battery tech is very outdated Now). Other really reliable EVs we’ve had include my 2021 Mini Cooper SE … because the infotainment was tried/true and nothing cutting edge. And our 2018 Chevy Bolt, which didn’t even have native nav etc— it relied in AA/CarPlay features — but in doing so, the car had less heavy lifting.

I’ll be really curious how newcomers like Rivian do in this arena, as their infotainment system looks to try to keep up with Ford’s Sync4A and Tesla, and of course, our Google system. All of these ”next level” systems seem to have hiccups. And of course, on top of that, there are issues WRT drivetrain — which seem to plague a smaller percentage.

Thanks for sharing the article .. I think that auto makers need to focus more on the “overall UX” and not just “lets pack in new tech and hope it works” mentality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While I agree Tesla is the elephant in the room, they know the upcoming competition will be fierce so they need to set themselves apart. As with almost all tech today (cars or not) manufacturers are rushing products to market to remain competitive figuring they can fix things with software updates. What I find interesting is much of the change while encouraging will be overwhelming to most consumers. Forums are usually filled with enthusiasts and complainers, while the bulk of the market are people that just want a product and for it to work. If you look at the sedan market, Camry and Accord are always at the top, not because they are cutting edge, but because the are good solid products.

I agree, Rivian and Lucid are the ones to watch a bit, they have a clean slate, and have learned watching Tesla. Chevy probably has the biggest head start in the US of the established brands since they have had the Volt/Bolt for some time to work out the tech.

I also agree that they need to make the UX user friendly and stable. What baffles me is with everyone so reliant on their phones, why not just implement solid wired/wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay, that would solve half the issues up front. If Volvo had these form day one have the AAOS issues would be irrelevant. We installed a wireless Carplay in her T5 and that is what she uses, not Sensus. The issues Volvo has is the portrait display since Android and Carplya are a landscape presentation it only uses half the screen.

Just finger in the air observations, but the biggest issues with the XC40 P8 seem to be the electronics, both hardware and software. Sure some HVAC issues and of course the brakes, but I would bet the majority or issues people are having are the unreliable AAOS.

There was a time I liked having all the "new" stuff, but lately the new stuff is not stable until it is the "old stuff".
 

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‘22 XC40 Recharge Twin in Denim Blue
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I think that on top of working on improving the UX, the QA needs to improve as well.
I feel their definition of MVPs is ruled by leadership and not interns of the real must-haves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know they will never do this, but engage some owners as part of a feedback program and beta tester program (above the beta testing we are already doing). I often see this development going on in a box with people that do not consume the end product. Years ago I was involved in a user feedback experience when they paid people to come in and showed us potential interiors for a car (was clearly Chrysler, even though emblems were covered) and we were asked numerous questions about each proposed interior. Do they do this any more? Maybe, but with the tight timelines I doubt it.
 
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@He Keith --- you are 100% right about the AAOS being the cornerstone of many complaints on these forums. That said, when it works, I'd argue it is the best system second only to the Tesla infotainment. Of all the cars I've owned, the Tesla is overall the "best UX" -- but.... you hit a nail on the head. The idea of "BYOD" (bring your own device) is one that truly makes the MOST sense.

AS noted prior, the Chevy Bolt used this mentality. You don't even get native nav-- you MUST use your phone. And it works GREAT, huge screen, flawless Apple CarPlay. Or even take my '21 Mini SE BEV -- it had native OS, but I simply used Appel CarPlay and that was perfect for me. Touch screen (and a knob if you wanted). I never used any native features other than the trip computer data to see efficiency data. But 99% of my viewing the screen was my own device.

We'll likely see a shift towards CarPlay/AA in some brands, those who realize it isnt worth the time to design their own system. Recent reviews of the new EV6/IONIQ5 have even mentioned that their native systems are laggy, but their CarPlay integrations are perfect. And watch for the new BMW i4 too, where they take it one step further; if you have Navigation running on your Apple device, then it can even push that map to the cluster (beyond the infotainment)-- BMW/Apple are in bed together, so their next-gen CarPlay features are going to REALLY push that envelope!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree AAOS has potential, but I question what it does overall that many existing car apps don't do or that Android Auto or Carplay can't. I could voice command the empty in my cars back in my old Acuras. Sure I can load Spotify in the car and not rely on my phone, but how many people don't have their phone. And what everyone forget is once the free subscriptions are over there will be connection fees. Today you can get unlimited dat plans at reasonable costs on your phone. Heck I pay $100 a month for T-Mobile for 2 phones, unlimited everything (and Netflix UHD plan) and then hotspot on top of that. I have to believe the Volvo fees will be $300USD+ a year after year 4. And knowing Googles short lived support for their OS, what kind of AAOS support will we have in year 5 or 6? I suspect long term you will be relying on Carplay and AAuto down the road anyway. My alarm panel is built on Android and it is like 2-3 revs old because of the lack of support. Google will have to adopt a more Apple like approach where they support it for 6-8 years at least. The Pixel 6 is interesting becasue Google said 5 years update support.
 

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Android auto only works in our bolt some of the time. Sometimes it connects, sometimes it doesn't. When connected, you never know when it will drop out of and your audio will stop and navigation disappears. Maybe a stable wireless connection would be better...A don't have a problem with Volvo sensus but plenty of people complain about it. My wife does not like it, but that is because she doesn't use it enough and can't find what she is looking for. Just make a stable system that works. I'd like for options to not be buried in menus, but that gets tough when you get more options. More user configurability would be great, so that you can put things where you want them, but if that makes the system more unstable then maybe it isn't such a great idea. I think that it comes down to the fact that I don't need my car to be just like my phone. Staring at a screen is ok most of the time, except while driving. There may be voice commands, but I'm not one to talk to my car (other than in frustration and exasperation).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AAuto is in similar area that AAOS is, fractured eco system with each phone maker doing their own thing for support. As much as I hate apply Carplay has been rock soldi for my Wife in each car. Her Acura had issues becasue they broke the implementation, but it was solid before then.
 

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One -key- factor that makes ALL the native systems "better" than the AA/ACP systems right now is the integration into the car's own data. For example, even if you are using CarPlay, it has no idea how many miles (% SOC) your car has. There have been discussions where Apple basically "requested" this from automakers and they denied them. Until the auto makers open up more data, this will be the reason why the AAOS is > AA/ACP.

Think of it this way: if you are going to take a trip, long distance, and in an EV (this isn't as much an issue in a gas car)-- you need to know when/where to charge. Your 3rd party BYOD doesn't have any clue of the car's current SOC. Whereas the AAOS, Tesla native, Audi eTron native, Porsche Taycan native, all of these-- will route you through chargers appropriate, and can alert you when ready to continue on your trip. ABRP has tried to circumvent this with their implementation but the car needs to again share said data, which most wont/dont, not without side loading anyhow.

We'll get there... but the auto makers need to loosen their grasp on things too--
 

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Years ago I was involved in a user feedback experience when they paid people to come in and showed us potential interiors for a car (was clearly Chrysler, even though emblems were covered) and we were asked numerous questions about each proposed interior. Do they do this any more? Maybe, but with the tight timelines I doubt it.
I can't speak for Volvo, but when I worked for "a large US automaker" (less than 6 months ago) we still did this
 

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CarPlay has an interface that the auto manufacturer can use to expose some car functions into CarPlay. Whether that includes SOC I don't know off hand. It's up to the auto manufacturer as to whether they provide the UI for things like climate control, or delegate that to CarPlay. Volvo chose to use their screen real estate in a way that leaves them with a UI for that stuff outside of CarPlay.

The level of flakiness in AAOS/XC40 makes it pretty clear that the A team is not involved here. Both companies, Google and Volvo, are well resourced. But if you have the wrong teams in place, you'll get bad results no matter what you spend (in fact, you'll usually spend more for the bad results).
 

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Bugs are awful. It will get better. Spotify now refusing to load. I decide not to restart anything and locked the car. I am sure it will be fine in the morning. The other day during the floods GPS went. It was fine after locking the car overnight. Spotify has clicking sounds coming like it is loading data. The app itself has bugs perhaps. It feels like I am back in early 90s with all buggy windows and other software, thank gosh we do need to use 35 floppy disks to install OS update. Anyway 2,600 kilometers and counting.
I believe next year we will have major update that will change things for better. I hope more power too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bugs are awful. It will get better. Spotify now refusing to load. I decide not to restart anything and locked the car. I am sure it will be fine in the morning. The other day during the floods GPS went. It was fine after locking the car overnight. Spotify has clicking sounds coming like it is loading data. The app itself has bugs perhaps. It feels like I am back in early 90s with all buggy windows and other software, thank gosh we do need to use 35 floppy disks to install OS update. Anyway 2,600 kilometers and counting.
I believe next year we will have major update that will change things for better. I hope more power too.
You are extremely optimistic about this. I think they will fix some of this, but am sure other bugs will persist as will new one with all the stuff they still have to implement.

I am curious as to what the future holds for Volvo as they are no where on any EV sales lists as I suspect it is not selling well. Look at C40, not a long wait time while ID.4 is sold out for almost a year. While it is a nice car Volvo has numerous head winds in the EV space. Even with Ghely behind them, I think they have a rough road ahead.
 

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Volvo apparently does not have the clout with Google to demand a truly functional product delivered in anything resembling a reasonable timeframe. That is worrying, since Volvo is going all-in with AAOS.

they both should be embarrassed at the state of their product that’s been out on the market for going on a year.
 

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Volvo apparently does not have the clout with Google to demand a truly functional product delivered in anything resembling a reasonable timeframe. That is worrying, since Volvo is going all-in with AAOS.

they both should be embarrassed at the state of their product that’s been out on the market for going on a year.
I totally agree. Volvo is a tick on Google. But I read somewhere that GM and Ford are also on board with AAOS. That would be good for Volvo as the base OS will improve, probably rather quickly.

The most worrying thing to me is all this talk of the car healing itself when you lock it overnight. That smells a lot like the system is automatically rebooting. If true, that would be truly awful because it means the developers have no idea why things are breaking and so they just restart whenever they can.

I have an order I placed from the port allotment that is supposed to be delivered in days. I love the car, but what I've seen of the software so far worries me. I want to think it will get better, but experience tells me the people involved with its development are not up to the task. I'm seriously considering asking for my deposit back.
 

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I totally agree. Volvo is a tick on Google. But I read somewhere that GM and Ford are also on board with AAOS. That would be good for Volvo as the base OS will improve, probably rather quickly.

The most worrying thing to me is all this talk of the car healing itself when you lock it overnight. That smells a lot like the system is automatically rebooting. If true, that would be truly awful because it means the developers have no idea why things are breaking and so they just restart whenever they can.

I have an order I placed from the port allotment that is supposed to be delivered in days. I love the car, but what I've seen of the software so far worries me. I want to think it will get better, but experience tells me the people involved with its development are not up to the task. I'm seriously considering asking for my deposit back.
We haven’t had my wife’s XC40 for long, but we had one glitch shortly after we bought it. My wife parked the car and when she left work all was good.

Unfortunately glitches are part of the EV world. There are days the LTE in my Tesla takes several minutes to start working, WiFi randomly stops working, screen stops responding, etc. A reboot always fixes the issues though.
 

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Glitches are part of the high tech world … this car just arrived in that world.

A question. If a 3rd party app did not work on your iPhone properly (has bugs missing features etc) would you be annoyed at Apple and the iPhone or would you blame the app owner?

Why is it we blame third party software apps problems on Volvo? For example Spotify. Is not the problem Spotify’s? Or is it Volvo’s responsibility to put pressure on the app developers?

Just curious.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We haven’t had my wife’s XC40 for long, but we had one glitch shortly after we bought it. My wife parked the car and when she left work all was good.

Unfortunately glitches are part of the EV world. There are days the LTE in my Tesla takes several minutes to start working, WiFi randomly stops working, screen stops responding, etc. A reboot always fixes the issues though.
They are because we consumers accept it. Many people bought Tesla because of the status even knowing and hearing all the issues. Knowing all the issues with auto pilot people still risk it. I have said this before, the early adopters are more likely to tolerate this, but mainstream consumers will run away. Let’s see XC60 feedback in 6-12 months on the 22s with AAOS. While I like my car if consumer reports sent me a survey (good thing I did not renew) the XC40 P8 would get roasted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Glitches are part of the high tech world … this car just arrived in that world.

A question. If a 3rd party app did not work on your iPhone properly (has bugs missing features etc) would you be annoyed at Apple and the iPhone or would you blame the app owner?

Why is it we blame third party software apps problems on Volvo? For example Spotify. Is not the problem Spotify’s? Or is it Volvo’s responsibility to put pressure on the app developers?

Just curious.
I think we blame Volvo because we all know AAOS is immature and not fully baked. I don’t blame Volvo because the YouTube Music app sucks, I blame Google and double blame as it is their app on their OS. I have not had Spotify issue, if I did I would blame Spotify and Google. My blame to Volvo is releasing the car with AAOS and then making statements that even this platform is not their final platform, so how much development will go into this long term? Again 3-5 years from now when Google says these version of AAOS are no longer supported where does that leave people that buy a car every 10 years? At least everyone else is releasing their EVs on their go forward platforms that will have some life to them. I think we all know the current Volvo CMA is a transitional platform and I doubt we will see much else released on it. The VW and Hyundai platform will support many models based on it.
 
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