Google's Android Automotive Push Sees Support from Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA
Google’s bid to counter Apple’s iOS in the Car push with an Android-based solution gained a huge lead with the recent announcement of the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance. Word of the initiative first surfaced last week with a report that Google and German marque Audi would soon announce a partnership aimed at bringing Android-powered “infotainment” systems to the carmaker’s vehicle lineup. With the addition of General Motors, Hyundai, and Honda, Google now counts 4 of the top 10 auto manufacturers in the world as backers.
The Open Automotive Alliance appears to be modeled on the Open Handset Alliance, a Google-led consortium that drives commercial development of Android for mobile devices. Chipmaker NVIDIA is a member of both groups and is currently the only technology company other than Google on the automotive roster.
According to the Open Automotive Alliance website, “timing from each automaker will vary, but [consumers] can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year." Talks with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are said to have already begun.
It’s unclear what the recent announcement means for Apple’s iOS in the Car program. GM, Hyundai, and Honda were among the manufacturers previously tabbed as Apple partners and have already announced vehicles sporting the iPhone-powered system for release in 2014.
General Motors Connected Car Chief Mary Chan mentioned “huge opportunities for the Android platform” in future vehicles. The company began integrating Apple’s Siri Eyes Free functionality, a precursor to iOS in the Car, in several 2014 models where it has received remarkable customer response. In the same release, Honda R&D head, Yoshiharu Yamamoto said the Japanese marque is “very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers. Honda, much like General Motors, has already added Siri Eyes Free capability and introduced a new iPhone-powered in-dash system for 2014 Civic and 2015 Fit models.
We’ll have to wait and see what move Apple makes as a result of Google’s recent announcement.
Source: Open Automotive Alliance