Car makers have been competing with Google and Apple (more so Google) for the past few years. And now, they are joining the two tech giants. Google and Apple both launched their car versions of their mobile OS back in 2014, but in 2015 it really began to take the industry by storm. We saw countless car makers jumping on the bandwagon to include either Android Auto or Apple Carplay, and more times than not it was both. Now the car makers have been competing with Google for quite some time, mostly for their self-driving car (which Ford is supposedly working with Google on), and also with maps. See, each car maker has their own maps service, and having Google Maps means that Google is competing with them. And with Android Auto, you’re using Google Maps over the car makers mapping solution.
The best part about Android Auto (and this applies to Apple CarPlay as well) is that setting it up is as easy as can be. Simply plug your phone into the USB port in the car and you’re all set. Additionally, users will get the same experience when using Android Auto in other cars, even those from other car makers. That’s pretty important to users these days, many don’t want to have to relearn how to use their infotainment system in the car once they get a new car.
At the auto shows in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles this year, we saw Android Auto everywhere. Whether that was from Chevy, GMC, Buick, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo or Hyundai, it was everywhere. And it’s likely to be the same in 2016 at the four major auto shows (which kick off with Detroit in January – the week after CES actually). Android Auto is still young, and Google has tons of plans for it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Android Auto in the near future. But it appears that car makers are definitely on board with the idea. Giving the customer the choice of the auto makers proprietary infotainment system or Google’s own infotainment system, which runs off of your phone is a pretty good idea. And many companies have already realized that.