Volvo’s latest over-the-air (OTA) update has enabled Apple CarPlay for passenger vehicles equipped with built-in Google services.

Once the update is downloaded to the vehicle, drivers and occupants will be able to sync up their iPhones to the system. For those unsure, Apple CarPlay allows vehicle occupants to stream certain device applications directly to the car’s infotainment system, including music and navigation data-- arguably the most popular uses for the system.

This news follows Volvo’s previously announced decision to include OTA update capabilities on all 2023 models; however, this technology has been regularly offered to US customers since 2021. A form of digital maintenance, OTA updates allow both the driver and Volvo to keep their vehicles up to date and ready for the road while simultaneously removing the burden of visiting a local dealership for the update. Some updates can even improve vehicle performance, as was the case in the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge. It gained a slight range increase over the 2021 model due to a software update; however, that update could be sent OTA to 2021 models granting the same boost.

“Through over-the-air updates we can make sure that our customers can enjoy new features quickly and easily,” said Jim Nichols, head of product and technology consumer offer at Volvo Car USA. “It also means that a new Volvo car continues improving even after it has left the factory.”

Apple has also been making moves in the car-tech scene, teasing their next generation of CarPlay earlier this summer. This new system will more fully integrate into eligible vehicles, displaying information through the Apple user interface on all screens. It boasts a user-customizable experience, able to project vital vehicle data, like speed and fuel level, alongside less serious information, like what songs are queued up in your Daily Drive Spotify playlist.

As cars become more and more digital, we expect to see big moves from both automakers and tech companies to stay up to date and “over-the-air.”