A couple of days ago, reports emerged surrounding a rumor suggesting Google have bigger plans than we all thought for Android Auto. It was presumed (up until the reports) that Android Auto was just an extension of the android platform, which would allow users to connect their smartphones and devices to the car to access media, notifications and communications through the car. However, the recent reports suggested Android for the car was being seen in Google’s eyes, as a far more potential platform. In fact, the recent reports suggested Google are far more intent on Android Auto as more integrated into cars, actually running as a standalone system that effectively controls all elements of the vehicle. As such, the suggestions were that the future versions of Android Auto (or ‘Android M’ as it is being touted in the reports) will be the brains in cars and will not require a connected android device to function.
In our coverage, one of the points being mentioned was that such a new integrated form of android in cars, would come up against a number of issues. The first was the actual functional and safety issues of android underwriting a car’s technology. Another main issue was Google would have to deal with and persuade the auto manufacturers to get on board. Although smartphone OEM’s jump over each other to make sure they have android installed on their devices, it was felt that car manufacturers might not be so willing. Well, the newest reports are suggesting this is exactly the case and especially for German car manufacturers.
It seems some of the big German car manufacturers are starting to voice their concern on Google being in control of their vehicles. It seems the companies are happy for android to control the lesser elements like media and communications, but are far more apprehensive of offering over, any form of data to Google. As Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler put it “The data that we collect is our data and not Google’s data“. This seems to be a sentiment resonated by Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn who added “When it gets close to our operating system, its hand off“. That said, it seems they are not completely against the move as VAG has already signed up to the Google ‘Open Automotive Alliance’ which was announced earlier this year. It is also expected that consumers will be for the move and generally will embrace a more intelligent or ‘smart’ car in the future. The idea of mobile battery drain and not having to connect your device to the car will greatly benefit users and possibly help to push demand for such a Google service forward. But what do you think? Do you like the idea of a Google-running car? Is the possibility of Google knowing more about you through your car data worrying? The car manufacturers already consider this to be ‘their’ data, so does it matter if Google also has access to this? Whatever your think, let us know.