Engineering Director Details Google's Automotive Strategy

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Android Auto has steadily become a pretty important part of the Android ecosystem, after debuting at Google I/O in 2014. The director of engineering for Android Auto, Patrick Brady, recently sat down with Fortune to talk about where Android Auto is headed and what the future of automobiles may look like. Android Auto did see a few noteworthy announcements at Google I/O last month, however they were overshadowed by the bigger announcements in the opening keynote. One of the interesting pieces of news coming out of Google I/O was the Maserati that Google and Qualcomm worked on that runs solely on Android.

Brady spoke about why Google decided to get into the automotive scene. While Google had been working on autonomous cars for quite a while, they hadn’t really entered the car, from an infotainment perspective. Brady notes that as far back as 2013, the company looked to starting in the automotive scene. The main reasons for doing so was because users spend a lot of time in the car. In fact, studies have shown that on average, people spend about 101 minutes in a car per day. Brady went on to explain that the team looked at the current state of automotive software and connected services in cars. One of the tough roadblocks that the team had to overcome in bringing Android Auto to market was how to do so. Seeing as this is a heavily regulated industry, compared to say smartphones. They knew that if they wanted to innovate at a relatively fast pace, that they would need their own platform. And Android Auto was born.


He also mentions how Android Auto has a lot of advantages. Talking about how personal of an experience Android Auto is compared to Chevy’s MyLink or Audi’s MMI system. It’s an experience that you bring into the car and one you take with you when you leave. Stating that “our goal is to create a seamless experience where you have connected services in the car.” Brady also mentioned that he and his team thought users needed to have a single software experience across the board.

When it comes to justifying why Android Auto is open sourced, like Android, Brady mentioned that it makes it easier for automakers to use the platform, and some already are. Comparing it to the company’s decision to open source Android almost a decade ago. Stating that it makes it easier for them as well as automakers to bring their services to one platform. Instead of needing to adapt to each car manufacturer’s platform, individually. Continuing on with “these platforms are much better off if they can be supported by an entire industry ecosystem and then anyone can add and innovate at a much faster pace.”

Fortune had a nice long talk with Patrick Brady, which you can check out at the source link below. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re interested in Android Auto, or even just Android coming to the auto industry.