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GM to build Android Auto competitor, coming in 2016
General Motors has announced a partnership with Harman International to build their own Android powered competitor to Android Auto. The new OS will be found in GM vehicles starting in 2016, and may make it to other automotive manufacturers shortly after.
The infotainment system will be the product of a $900 million agreement with Harman International, and will produce a full fledged Android OS, skinned for your automotive needs.
GM currently uses a number of services in their lines of vehicles, including QNX by BlackBerry and software from Microsoft. Shifting to Android opens the doors to the plethora of Android apps already available through the Google Play Store, makes it easier to send out updates to customer vehicles and more.
Android Auto will not be left out in the cold, GM still plans to use Google’s minimalist, distraction-limited Android powered OS for some vehicles. GM and Harman International are also both still active members of the Open Automotive Alliance, an organization headed by Google to ensure the responsible implementation of Android in the car.
GM customers will enjoy functions like mapping and music that have previously been unavailable with the limited scope of in-dash infotainment systems. Left to be seen is GM’s approach to the hardware. GM was a leader in their time with On Star communications in their vehicles. We hope that the new vehicles can handle their own data connection, and that GM strikes a nice deal with the carriers so they can offer drivers at least a touch of free-for-life monthly data.
Perhaps the greatest advantage to a GM built, in-dash Android OS is that it will not require a companion Android device to operate, as you would with Android Auto.
What do you think, is GM on the right track creating their own Android OS for the car, or is Android Auto the better way to go?