Audi, GM, Honda Cars May Soon Be Running On Google's Android OS
January 7, 2014

Audi, GM, Honda Cars May Soon Be Running On Google’s Android OS

[ Watch the Video: Google Aims To Put Android OS In Automobiles ]

Gerard LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

According to The Telegraph, Google, with the backing of GM, Honda and Audi, is anticipating its Android OS will be the standard for in-car computers. The Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) claims that the system will make driving “safer, easier and more enjoyable.”

A report in Apple Insider states the OAA is an alliance of technology and the automotive industries’ leaders to bring the Android OS to cars starting in 2014. The only technology company member other than Google in the OAA alliance is chipmaker nVIDIA.

The addition of an Android OS into automobile computers will let drivers have access to 700,000 existing apps through their dashboard. They will also have access to email, apps and music stored on their smartphones.

Voice recognition is expected to also be implemented into the dashboard to allow hands-free control with a GPS navigation feature. The agreement includes that the 80 plus OAA members will not produce devices that are incompatible with Android.

According to Cnet, the group stated, “The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone. Its open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way.”

Patrick Brady, Google’s director of Android Engineering, said in a blog post: “Today, millions of people already bring Android phones and tablets into their cars, but it’s not yet a driving-optimised experience. Wouldn't it be great if you could bring your favourite apps and music with you, and use them safely with your car's built-in controls and in-dash display?"

He added, “Together with our OAA partners, we're working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone.”

“Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers. And it will create new opportunities for developers to extend the variety and depth of the Android app ecosystem in new, exciting and safe ways,” wrote Brady.

Apple has already made deals with BMW, Daimler, Mercedes and Honda to produce smart dashboards featuring operating systems already used in its iPads and iPhones.

Apple's Siri application can dictate email or text messages and has voice commands, which will be very helpful to drivers. While the Apple method has the iPhone connect to the instruments within the car, Google will embed Android directly into the vehicle's electronics.

GM has announced that all of its models from 2015 on will have 4G chips to provide a constant internet access without the use of a Smartphone.

From the press room of the OAA, Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google said, “Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it every day. The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road.”

Mary Chan, President of General Motors' Global Connected Consumer unit added, “Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles. We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.”

“We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers. The Honda team is looking forward to collaborating with Google and all OAA members to help advance the safety, value and ease of use of connected-car technologies,” said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group added, “Through the OAA, our customers using Android devices will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles. By introducing the latest IT technologies safely and securely throughout our full range of vehicles, we continually strive to provide the highest levels of convenience and enhance the in-vehicle experience.”

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer for nVIDIA said, “The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction. The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster.”

According to Tech Hive, another auto maker that is using an Android-based system is Kia. Its cars have an infotainment system that was showcased at the 2013 New York International Auto Show last March. It was claimed as the first system of its kind to be used in a vehicle.

Apple and Microsoft also are stating the importance of integrating OS into vehicles. Some Acura and Honda cars have the Siri Eyes Free system installed.

Microsoft’s Blue&Me, via Bluetooth, allows drivers hands free connection to their phones in Fiat, Alpha Romeo and Lancia. The Blue&Me platform allows drivers to make hands-free phone calls, listen to text messages and play music files along with navigation and other options.