As cars become more technically advanced, Android is slowly rising in prominence in the automotive industry. The latest carmaker to put Android in its vehicles is Audi – the German manufacturer will reportedly announce a partnership with Google at CES next week.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Audi and Google are set to announce the development of an Android-based in-car entertainment and information system. It’s possible that the announcement will be part of a bigger initiative, as the report says the two companies will begin a “collaborative effort” with other companies in the auto and technology fields to make Android “important technology for future vehicles”. Nvidia, maker of the Tegra line of mobile SoCs, is said to be one of these companies.
Among others, Google is competing with Apple in this field – the Cupertino-based company announced the iOS in the Car initiative in June, an effort to integrate iPhones with infotainment systems, to give drivers access to maps, messages, and apps from their devices. In contract, Google’s approach is reportedly to put its operating system directly on the car’s hardware, and give drivers and passengers access to a full Android experience.
Asked to comment on the report, an Audi representative acknowledged that “cars are becoming more complex, and with the computing power that is going into vehicles, you need that type of system in the car”, referring to an OS that would give users access to the type of functions that are present on smartphones.
Audi is not the only carmaker interested in in Google’s platform. Korean media reported in October that Kia and Hyundai plan to equip all their models with Android-based infotainment systems by the end of 2014.
CES Las Vegas 2014 will start in a little over a week. We’ll be there to report on all things Android, and it looks that this time, that will mean some nice German automobiles.