While the Apple car is still circulating through the rumor mill, Google is already one step further. Well, there is no “Google Car” here either, but Fiat is offering the “500 Hey Google” with special design features. Certain functions can be accessed via the Google Assistant. A short exit in Berlin.
The Fiat 500 Hey Google was presented at the end of March this year. The special model comes to Germany in the versions 500 and 500C as well as 500X, as has now been specified. The Fiat 500L Hey Google shown in March, however, is not planned for the German market. For the 500 Hey Google, Fiat calls up 17,850 euros (price list, PDF), for the 500C Hey Google, which ComputerBase was able to take a look at in Berlin and briefly test drive, it is 20,450 euros (price list, PDF). The larger 500X Hey Google starts at 23,490 euros (price list, PDF) with 120 hp, the more powerful petrol engine with 150 hp is 26,490 euros. Compared to the 500, the larger variant is also offered with two diesel engines (95 and 130 hp) for 24,990 and 25,990 euros.
Google- Design features outside and inside
All Google models have exclusive design features that reveal the cooperation through the company's typical colors. After only press photos of Fiat itself were available so far, the editors were able to take a look at the car in real life in Berlin. Viewed from the outside, in the area of the front fender, there is a Hey Google badge on each side above the side indicator. The B-pillar is adorned with a colorful dot pattern that picks up on the colors of the Google logo and reminds of the animated dots for inquiries for the Google Assistant. This pattern is continued inside on all four seats, which also have a Google badge with “Hey Google” on the front. When the ignition is switched on, an animated Google logo appears on the standard infotainment system before Fiat displays its own logo.
Fiat-Action for the Google Assistant
< p class = "p text-width">What makes the cooperation between Fiat and Google special is the link with the Google Assistant, which can be used to call up the vehicle status and control individual functions of the car. The two worlds are linked by installing the Fiat “UConnect Live” app on Android or iOS, installing the Google Assistant (only required under iOS) and installing the Google Home app to also run the service on the Nest Hub to be able to use, which all buyers of a Fiat 500 Hey Google get for free in the 1st generation of the smart speaker (test). The car is linked to the owner via the chassis number, who can then carry out the “action”, i.e. implemented the language features from Fiat, via the Google Assistant on the smartphone and Nest Hub.
Examples for language commands
The inquiries are initiated with the voice command “Hey Google, ask My Fiat …” and then continued with one of the following inquiries, for example. The name of the car always has to be mentioned because theoretically several models of the manufacturer can be stored in the Fiat app.
- … how far mine Fiat 500 is gone.
- … open the doors of my Fiat 500.
- … activate the hazard lights of my Fiat 500.
- … whether I have a door on my Fiat 500 left open.
- … according to the fuel level of my Fiat 500.
- … what the tire pressure of my Fiat 500 is.
- … what the battery status of my Fiat 500 is.
- … how many kilometers did my Fiat 500 drive yesterday?
In the immediate vicinity of the car and when pairing has already taken place, the communication between smartphone and car takes place directly via Bluetooth; for longer distances or when using the Nest Hub, for example, the inquiries run via the Google and Fiat backends. When the functions were tried out briefly for the first time, the action was a bit sluggish and the voice output from Fiat couldn't keep up with the much more natural from Google. With the Google Assistant, the third-party providers still have to integrate their own voice output for their actions, which in the case of Fiat sounds monotonous and sleepy. However, the commands are implemented as intended, although the queries must be fairly specific and the phrase mentioned must not be deviated from. The following video from Google demonstrates some of the commands.
Voice commands are generally speaking for external communication with the car. The car itself or its infotainment system does not come with an integrated Google Assistant, but Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported. The solution must also be distinguished from the Android Automotive OS (test) operating system developed for cars, as used by Polestar, for example.