Honda’s next Accord will be the automaker’s first vehicle to support Google built-in integration, enabling native Android apps and over the air (OTA) software updates (via Automotive News). It will be included as a standard feature in the top Touring trim of the 2023 Accord, arriving early next year.
If you’ve never heard of “Google built-in,” that’s because it’s just another name for Android Automotive — the software giant’s vehicle operating system. Considering Google also has a similarly-named phone-to-car integration system called Android Auto (like Apple’s CarPlay), it makes sense that the less confusing “Google built-in” seems to be the company’s preferred name going forward.
Honda hasn’t revealed if its other vehicles will be getting Google built-in yet. The automaker had previously used custom (and now outdated) embedded Android software in some of its cars, but now it’s fully leveraging Google’s offerings to tackle all the hard infotainment stuff. Navigation in the Accord will be taken care of with using Google Maps, voice controls can change things like passenger air temperatures, and music apps will be just a tap away. Honda signed up for Google’s infotainment platform last year, at the time saying it would start rolling it out to cars in 2022.
In the new Accord, Google built-in will operate across two screens: a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 12.3-inch center screen. It’s the biggest infotainment screen Honda has ever made, and bigger than Volvo’s 9-inch screen in the XC40 — another car that uses Google built-in as well.
Honda’s vehicle OTA updates will “add function two, three, or eight years after it’s been sold,” says American Honda Motor Co. VP of CASE and Energy Jay Joseph, speaking to Automotive News. “[It] can really change the dynamics of the ownership experience and the used-vehicle market,” Joseph said.