Google plans its foray into cars, Audi among the first to put it in cars image

During Google’s annual I/O developers’ conference, the internet search giant has unveiled its Android Auto software, which is the end product of its car-software development alliance.

Thanks to the advent of the Open Automotive Alliance, announced a few months earlier and comprising a large number of tech companies and auto industry leaders, Google has been able to extend its popular mobile phone software platform towards car integration.

During the keynotes, company executives have demonstrated how the new Android Auto integrates with cars, acting like an interface extension that allows drivers to issue voice commands for a high number of tasks, from navigating the map to sending text messages.

Audi, a partner into the Open Automotive Alliance, has already moved to announce tat its first cars equipped with Android Auto would come to the US since 2015, allowing a seamless integration via Android Auto and the Audi MMI infotainment system of Android mobile apps and services.

“As the leader in the emerging field of connected car technologies, Audi recognizes the importance of meeting our customers’ mobile technology needs on their terms,” said Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics, Audi AG. “But we should only do this through innovations, such as Android Auto, that reduce distractions and improve performance.”

While Apple’s CarPlay functions as a hardware integrated system, which means in the future there could be incompatibility issues with other platforms, the OAA Android Auto software looks more open – Audi pointing out that it’s integration into future models doesn’t rule out the MMI compatibility to other platforms.