We’ve heard all about the potentiality for cars to run off of Google’s open source Android software, and what an interesting prospect it could be, if ever finished. The idea of making vehicle entertainment and navigation open sourced is something that Google would do, and it looks like a very good idea. Apple has come out with what they call ‘CarPlay’, which is their car-friendly version of iOS, and Mercedes has already jumped on that option. On their C-Class vehicle, Mercedes will be featuring CarPlay, but remains open to the idea of Google’s Open Automotive Alliance idea. To be fair, Android is not yet ready for this, but it soon will be. Mercedes has announced that once Google brings their own ‘in-car infotainment system’ to the public markets, they will definitely be using them in future vehicles.
The Open Automotive Alliance is Google’s way of unifying methods of ‘infotainment’ delivery to a car. Essentially, they will be building the foundation upon which car manufacturers could then work with, similar to what we see with Android. It is entirely possible that we could see different manufacturers have their own ‘skins’ to the software, making defined differences in their product. Of course, Apple will be the major competitor for now, and they certainly seem to have the upper hand so far, seeing that Google has been very ‘hush hush’ about the whole thing. Apple also has the ‘premium factor’ going for them, since they have both Mercedes and Volvo agreeing to use their software. Google has a few official partners so far, including Honda and Hyundai. It will be very interesting to see where this all goes, especially since it sounds like that Mercedes will be willing to sport both Android and CarPlay on their vehicles, once the former becomes available. Mercedes has released this statement regarding the software: “As soon as Google brings its own in-car infotainment system to market, Mercedes-Benz customers will also be able to enjoy the world of Android in their cars. Mercedes-Benz has already shown to impressive effect how an Android-based in-car infotainment system could look like in the SLS AMG in 2011: with “AMG Performance Media” it is possible to display lateral and longitudinal acceleration, along with engine output, torque and accelerator pedal position. Laps completed on a race track can be recorded and called up later for the purposes of personal driving analysis. Additional functions such as internet access and WiFi hotspot functionality are options that customers can add to the system.”
What do you think? Are you excited to see higher-end car manufacturers be more interested in Google? Do you think that Apple’s early start in the market will be detrimental to Android? Let us know that and any other thoughts down below in the comments!