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Linux dukes it out with Android Auto over your Toyota car's dashboard
Apple’s CarPlay is no longer the only competition that Google’s Android Auto needs to worry about – Toyota announced it will be the first car company in the U.S. to offer the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform as a third choice for car buyers, starting on the 2018 Toyota Camry.
Relatively speaking, the AGL platform is not exactly the most well-known of car dashboard infotainment systems. Even so, AGL itself boasts over 100 members, including Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, and plenty more in an effort to offer a solid base that can unify the different dashboard systems into one standard.
AGL is based on Linux OS, which allows anyone with the SDK to develop their own apps and connected features. Using AGL, as opposed to a proprietary software developed internally, could also mean faster updates from Toyota.
That latter point is arguably the most important. Connected cars may be more advanced than their older counterparts, but the former have opened up a new avenue for exploits and malware. Being able to more quickly update a car’s dashboard software has the benefit of increased security, though it remains to be seen whether Toyota will have a timetable for these updates.
For Toyota, opting for AGL gives it greater control over what features the carmaker wants to include or exclude from certain models. Android Auto and CarPlay will remain options for car buyers, but we would not be surprised if Toyota heavily pushes the AGL platform in its future ad campaigns.
According to the announcement, the AGL platform will trickle down to other Toyota and Lexus vehicles. There is plenty that rides (pun intended) on how many people opt for the AGL platform on the Camry, since AGL members could base their decisions on such a statistic.