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It’s official, Android is coming to cars

by on06 January 2014

Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia on board

Google has confirmed what the tech press has been leaking for weeks – Android is coming to a car near you. Google has launched the Open Automobile Alliance (OAA) to promote Android in cars, but it will not be easy. Many car makers make a decent profit on proprietary infotainment systems that tend to cost an arm and a leg. Also, Apple is vying for the same market, so we could see a repeat of the smartphone wars in the auto industry.

Luckily Google has a few heavy hitters on its side, namely Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai. Nvidia is on board, too, which is hardly surprising given the company’s focus on infotainment in recent years. Apple’s list of supporters is even more extensive, as it includes Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Chevrolet, Kia, Volvo and Jaguar. Honda and Hyundai are going with both platforms.

“We’re working with our partners to enable better integration between cars and Android devices in order to create a safer, car optimized experience. We’re also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device,” Google said.

The first actual products with Android integration are expected later this year, but it is unclear which brand will be the first to offer an Android infotainment system in one of its cars. They can’t come soon enough – over the past few years smartphones have evolved from ghastly, underpowered bricks to works of art powered by immensely powerful processors.

Compared to any mid-range smartphone out there, the average infotainment system looks like a throwback to the nineties, yet it costs as much as a couple of high-end phones and tablets rolled into one.

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