Google revealed agreements with Audi and Volvo which will see the car makers incorporate mobile operating system Android into their next generation of vehicles.
Following on from Android Auto, which Google deployed in 2014, the company is now taking the next step in vehicle software by rolling out standalone platforms for cars, powered by Android.
Audi and Volvo are set to build Android-based touchscreen car consoles and infotainment systems into their upcoming vehicles.
The systems will allow users to control and access features including air conditioning, sunroofs and windows, and Google Maps. Music application Spotify will also be accessible, and the infotainment system will also allow drivers to talk to Google Assistant, the company’s voice controlled service.
Android Auto offers similar capabilities, and is designed to give drivers easy access to features including navigation, audio streaming, and different forms of communications.
It works by allowing drivers to view content from their Android smartphones on a vehicle’s screen.
If the car is not compatible, users have the option to use an app. It is now supported by 300 models and aftermarket stereos, said Google.
Seamless and integrated
A preview of the new standalone system will be available at Google’s I/O conference this week.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Patrick Brady, president of engineering for Android, said the system will make its way to Audi and Volvo’s future fleet of cars, along with other manufacturers.
He said the new system will have the capability of taking over the underlying software on the car, and also access innovative features like 3D mapping and satellite images.
“Where cars are going, everything is integrated into one display,” he told Bloomberg, adding: “We think the future is much more a seamless, integrated system.”
Rival technology companies BlackBerry and Samsung’s Harman International unit have also been pushing automobile software.
Apple, too, is reportedly working on an operating system for self driving cars.