Google will be making several announces at this year's Google I/O conference being held in San Francisco on June 25-26 – one of which will be their Google Auto Link (GAL). This will be the first product to emerge from the Google led consortium, Open Automotive Alliance, formed in January – this group includes Audi AG, General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Group, and chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. Their sole intent was to bring the Android OS to cars "starting in 2014."
This should help intensify the race with Apple's own CarPlay system to see which OS will become the leader in dashboard computing. Apple made its presence known at the Geneva Auto Show – an embedded system with an interface that resembles the iPhone. In its Press Materials, Apple described it as "a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car." Apple said that CarPlay would be available March in the Ferrari FF Grand Tourer, but models from Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo would soon follow.
Car manufacturers have been working on their own dashboard systems and have questioned the need for two more players in the mix – but they too must include phone calls, messaging and the ability for music from the driver's smartphone to be played over the in-dash system. Safety groups are cracking down hard on the use of smartphones while driving – they are working to minimize any distraction for the driver, which as we know, is a major cause of accidents and deaths among teenagers and young adults.
Apple and Android argue that they developed the OS that most users are accustomed too, so they should be the ones that develop the in-dash interface as well. In 2005 Google teamed up with several automobile manufacturers to form alliances – for instance, Audi has an exclusive deal to use Google Earth maps as an overlay for their GPS system and Hyundai has equipped some of their cars with Google Search to locate places of interest via Google Voice functions.
Although the two systems are there to help drivers on their in-dash displays, they are built around a different philosophy – the Apple is more an embedded system and only newer devices, such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are compatible with CarPlay. Google's will be an in-car mirroring and control system for Android phones. Although nothing has been announced, it is expected that Auto Link will allow approved apps and core functions to be mirrored onto and used to control your smartphone via the car's infotainment system by using steering wheel, touchscreen or voice activated controls.
Hit us up on our Google+ Page and join in the discussions surrounding CarPlay and Google Auto Link – technology just keeps getting more exciting every day…as always, we would love to hear from you.