Smart in-car infotainment systems are becoming a reality with various smartphone projection standards like Android Auto and Apple Carplay starting to see support from car makers, although the pace of uptake leaves a lot to be desired. The Android Auto project was announced at Google I/O 2014, and the mobile app for the same was released to the Google Play Store in March this year. For the uninitiated, what Android Auto does essentially is that it makes your phone’s apps and data available through the built-in touchscreen head-unit of a vehicle that supports the standard. Meaning, no more having to pick up the phone to access your contacts, text messages, calls, GPS navigation, internet access etc. What’s more, the calling and texting features are voice-controlled by default, which promises to cut down on the would-be distractions, thereby improving safety.
While Hyundai was the first manufacturer to officially support Android Auto with its 2015 Sonata, a number of other automobile companies have since started adding the feature to their latest models. Some of the current vehicles available with Android Auto include the Volkswagen Golf, the Chevy Cruze, the Honda Accord and a couple of models from Czech automaker Skoda, including the Fabia compact hatchback and the Octavia sedan. Many other manufacturers have also announced support for Android Auto, but their models are expected to hit the road next year. That includes major names in the automotive industry like Audi, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Volvo and many others. While current app support for Android Auto is fairly limited, some popular applications like Google Maps, Google Play Music, MLB at Bat, Spotify, Songza, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and TuneIn are already compatible with the platform.
With many more people set to be introduced to Android Auto in the coming months, Google of course realizes that support is going to become a key issue going forward. Hence on Friday, the company announced through a post on the Android Auto support page that it would start answering people’s queries about Android Auto through the official Android account on microblogging site Twitter. “Looking for help? Tweet @Android using #androidautohelp to get in touch with our team; we’re available for customer support Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PT”, is what the short but effective communiqu© from Google read.