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Android Headliner: Google IO 2014: Is Android In The Car ready to Launch ?

June 14, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham


You may remember back to the CES conference in Las Vegas back in January. When the Open Auto Alliance was announced with Google and a number of car manufacturers. We’ve been hearing for a while that Google had been looking to get into cars, and even NVIDIA is trying their hands at cars as well with the Tegra K1 chipset. Usually the entertainment system that’s in your dashboard has some kind of clunky OS that no one ever wants to use, or it’s iOS only. Which sucks for about 80% of the market, since 80% of the market now own an Android device. That’s a pretty large market share to be avoiding, or ignoring. The Open Auto Alliance was formed to basically unify these systems in our car that we use for music, GPS, etc. In addition to Google, we have Audi, GM, NVIDIA, Honda and Hyundai on board, and I’d expect to see more coming on board pretty soon. So now the question is, when we start to see what the Open Auto Alliance has in store for us?

We could see some demos at Google I/O in about a week, in fact I’d almost bet on seeing some. But I’m not sure we’ll start seeing these new hands-free entertainment consoles in the car until the end of next year. Typically because it takes much longer than just a few months to release a new car. Unlike smartphone manufacturers, most car makers only release a new car once a year. And that’s typically near the end of the year, since there are so many car shows in the beginning of the year, starting with the North American International Auto Show, here in Detroit. I went to the NAIAS this past year, and was amazed at how great these entertainment consoles have gotten. But just think about how much better they’d be with Google integrated and doing the software.

With Google doing the software, and NVIDIA providing the processors, I think we could see some amazing entertainment consoles in the 2016 crop of cars from the likes of Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai. It might be close to being ready to launch, but we have to remember this takes time. Back in 2007, the Open Handset Alliance was formed, and that was formed to help bring updates quicker to smartphones. Although most of us didn’t hear about it until 2010. But we really haven’t seen the fruits of its labor until this year. So it’s going to take some time for the Open Automotive Alliance to take shape as well. Personally, I’m excited to see some demos at Google I/O this year. Which we’re sending Justin to go check out everything that Google has on display this year.

Android in the car is going to be something that will be amazing, especially with Google taking the lead on software, we don’t have to worry about extra software overlays on top. Imagine Google Maps, Google Search, Yelp, Foursquare and a ton of other apps like that in your dashboard, and it all syncs with your smartphone. It’s a dream come true, right?