Google is stepping up its automotive infotainment involvement with an integrated native version of its Android Auto operating system, which is due to roll out in 2020.
Unlike its current Android system, vehicles ‘powered by Android’ will not require a smartphone to access the various applications and functions, with Google’s proprietary software permanently plumbed into the car.
Not only will the system perform the functions users are already familiar with, including navigation, communication and web-based application access, but the new generation of Android will also be tapped into vehicle systems such as climate control and perhaps even the vehicle’s dynamic systems.
With this greater level of connectivity, Google Assistant will be able to adjust car settings such as cabin temperature and entertainment controls – and all through conversational voice interaction that the company already offers in households. There may even be remote functions available.
Manufacturers are yet to officially confirm adoption of the new Google information and entertainment system, but theverge.com reports that Audi and Volvo’s Polestar electric sportscar brand will be the first. It’s likely discussions are underway with many others.
Existing Android Auto simply projects the smartphone’s display onto the vehicle’s own along with the instantly recognisable Google graphics and design calling cards, however, the native version will be different.
Partners will be able to work with the technology behemoth to tailor a top layer of ergonomics and design which ties in with each brand’s existing technology, with all the Google software hidden beneath. You’ll have no idea anything has changed apart from the new advanced features, says the company.
It’s a collaborative initiative that makes a lot of sense. Partner car brands get a turnkey information and entertainment system with a cost-effective price that’s driven down as more adopters jump on board.
And Google gets access to another rich but as-yet untapped seam of information.
No doubt Apple will be watching intently and is likely to be mounting a counter assault with its own version of a native CarPlay operating system.