Google is teaming up with automotive behemoths Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia to form the Open Automotive Alliance, or ‘OAA’, designed to “accelerate” innovation in the automotive sector.

Tech companies and auto industry leaders join forces to make the connected car a reality starting in 2014 by extending the success of the Android ecosystem, which has seen over one billion devices activated to date.

The coalition of auto and technology companies announced during the 2014 CES the new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car.

The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.

“In this multi-screen world, switching between our different devices should be easy and seamless,” says Patrick Brady, Director, Android Engineering. “Common platforms allow for one connected experience across our phone, tablet and PC, so we get the right information at the right time, no matter what device we’re using. But there’s still an important device that isn’t yet connected as seamlessly to the other screens in our lives – the car.”

With the OAA, it should mean that all your music, apps and more will find a way onto your dashboard to use with the car’s built-in controls and display. This will likely mean that hands-free controls will be a standard fixture, with drivers encouraged to keep their eyes on the road rather than messing around with buttons on their smartphone.

Though there are only five car manufacturers on board for now, Google says it’s welcoming other companies to join the OAA in the future to help build “a common platform” for the road.

Over and above all this, however, this is setting up a big battle for the roads, with Apple’s iOS in the Car (iOSitC) also looking to make waves in 2014 and beyond. Apple has previously inked deals with a number of car manufacturers for Siri Eyes-Free mode, including General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Audi and Hyundai, which will ultimately let drivers interact with their iPhone using just their voice.


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