Google Partners With Renault, Nissan & Mitsubishi For Intelligent Infotainment Systems

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In short: On Tuesday, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Google announced that the automotive alliance Google will be partnering up to bring Android into vehicles sold under those brands. This is going to be an embedded version of Android, and will provide intelligent infotainment and customer focused-applications, and it will begin with the 2021 model year. The operating system will have an ecosystem of apps brought to drivers by the Google Play Store, as well as have navigation through Google Maps, and last but not least, Google Assistant will also be on-board here.

Background: Google has been toying around with the idea of embedding Android into different cars, and using Android as the infotainment setup in vehicles from Volvo, Audi and Land Rover over the past few years. This past year at Google I/O we saw a much more polished version of this setup, which actually worked really well. You can think of it as Android Auto, but you don't need to plug in your phone or even bring your phone with you. Since the Google Play Store and all of the apps are installed directly on the infotainment system, and not being projected from your phone – which is how Android Auto works.

Impact: This is going to put Android into more vehicles, and hopefully get Google to the "next million users", something that the search giant is always talking about. But for consumers, or more importantly drivers, this means that you are finally going to have an infotainment system that isn't junk. Typically the infotainment that these car makers use in their cars don't look great, the maps are usually pretty old an out of date, and there's just a lot of things missing. That won't be the case with embedded Android on vehicles from Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The only downside here is that we will have to wait until around 2020 or 2021 to actually see these vehicles on the road. Starting with the 2021 model year (so we could see some out as soon as early 2020), embedded Android will be on these infotainment systems.

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