Aaron DiManna
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2022 Hummer EV to Use Google Infotainment Services

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2022 GMC Hummer EV's infotainment screen, which features Google Infotainment software.
Photo: GMC

GMC shocked the automotive world when it announced that the legendary Hummer would return as an all-electric vehicle, and it did so again when it officially unveiled the 2022 Hummer EV on Oct. 20 in all of its edgy glory. Perhaps buried under the weight of mind-melting performance specs and off-road features, one interesting detail seems to have flown under the radar: it will be integrated with Google Infotainment Systems.

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Why that’s interesting

If you’ve been in the cabin of a vehicle released within the last few years, you’ll know that it’s not at all uncommon for automakers to partner with big tech companies for their infotainment systems. The one you’ve likely seen the most is Amazon Alexa compatibility, with Buick even going so far as to release a commercial where people call their new SUVs “Alexas.” Most of the time, the degree to which you can use the built-in assistant is limited by how often you shop on Amazon and how many Alexa-enabled smart home devices you have hooked up. This partnership with Google could be substantially different.

OK Google

For the most part, operating smart home devices with the Google Assistant will be functionally the same as controlling them through Alexa. However, the key difference lies in a 2019 quote from General Motors, which states that “many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle, and increasingly expect seamless integration between the tech in their hands and the tech in their vehicle.”

And that’s where Google has a significant leg up over Amazon. Not only does it own and actively develop the Android platform — upon which the 2022 Hummer EV’s infotainment system is based — but it produces its own mobile hardware. Theoretically, that means Google Pixel owners who also have a Google Home and various smart home devices can enjoy a truly seamless connection between their cell phones, homes, vehicles, and online activity. In this situation, one central source will provide all of the software and the hardware, with the exception of GM-specific apps and the vehicle itself.

There’s certainly a conversation to be had about whether that level of connectivity is a positive or a negative, but you can’t deny that it’s going to be interesting to see how the partnership between Google and General Motors will evolve in the coming years.

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