Google and Audi bringing Android to your dash

Audi logoThe Wall Street Journal reports that Google and Audi will bring Android to the carmaker's line of luxury vehicles at CES 2014, which kicks off in one week. Entertainment and information systems on the vehicles would run on Google's mobile OS platform, reportedly powered by silicon from partners like NVIDIA. The report is thin on details, but the move would have the potential to bring some cohesion to the now fractured world of automotive app platforms.

Apple announced its own efforts at further automotive integration at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference. Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Service, demonstrated iOS in the car and announced several partners committed to bringing the technology to their vehicles in 2014. That announcement followed the addition of Eyes Free to Apple's Siri software, allowing drivers to trigger Siri through their vehicles' Bluetooth system.

Audi was among those committed to bring Siri Eyes Free to its vehicles, so a move toward Android seems to indicate a change in plans.

Car interfaces have long been a thorn in the side of drivers. Walls of buttons, touchscreens, scroll wheels, joysticks, and voice have all been put to use in car interfaces, and no effort has won universal acclaim. Building off of Android would lower the cost to develop an interface, though it's unlikely that manufacturers would unify behind a single interface, as branded and distinguished interfaces are important to their design. For developers, the benefit is in designing a single app that runs on any number of car models from several manufacturers. GM and Ford have each taken their own approach, with GM pursuing HTML5-based Web apps and Ford taking an open-source approach. It's likely we'll hear more about all of these initiatives next week.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, automobiles, CES, Google, OSes

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