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.
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“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.”
Way back in 2010 we brought you news on the Roewe 350, which was touted as the world’s first Android-equipped automobile. The car featured a DVD/GPS system that runs on Android 2.1 – at that time the latest release from Google. The system enabled drivers to gain access to real-time traffic reports, allowed direct Web access from the car and more.
However, Android hasn’t yet fully infiltrated automobiles the world over, so teaming up with these major players is a big move for Google and Android, as it looks to transcend your pocket and become a permanent fixture in your 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.
“Together with our OAA partners, we’re working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone,” adds Brady. “Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers.”
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.
Meanwhile, you can read more on the Open Automotive Alliance below.