Google to develop in-car technology for Audi

Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Google and automaker Audi will announce their plans to collaboratively develop software for in-car entertainment and information based on Android systems, according to the Wall Street Journal. It plans to utilize Google's 'Google Now' system, a rival to Apple's Siri, as a way to centralize the systems within the vehicle.

Google's ultimate plan for all of this is to "establish Android as an important technology for future vehicles", and to "allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones". This signals the increasing foray from mobile developers into the automotive world, a market which has thus far remained largely untapped. But with announcements from Google and Apple, two of the largest mobile phone manufacturers, the 'car of the future' seen in shows like Knight Rider and Batman may soon become a reality.

The preemptive announcement comes after Apple's announcement in May that they'd be launching an initiative to integrate Siri and Apple Maps with car dashboards, and so far they have a few automakers on board: BMW, GM, Honda and Mercedes-Benz. But contrary to Apple's plan to provide technology to these auto manufacturers, Google plans to directly integrate their Android software with the car's built-in hardware. And as the mobile manufacturers ramp up their expansion into other markets, 2014 is looking to be an exciting year for technological developments. 

Source: Wall Street JournalImage via Shutterstock - Google phone at Chinese temple ceremony

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Kaa-Ching said,
goodluck with 'ripping out the system', it doesn't sound like you have any idea how a car works, and in any case, most obvious trolling ever. We get it, you don't like google.

im pretty sure im well versed with how car electronics work, afterall, I spent most of my career designing fleet management software and hardware for cabs.

as for my opinion of google, its just that,my own opinion. just like how some people have strong opinions about governments, the NSA, politicians,retailers,etc... love it or leave it. no need to get bent out of shape about it.

according to the Panasonic page, they are saying that the apps are built on HTML5. Could be a fork, certainly. Much like, say, the WD TV is based on Android

My vision is that smartphones will be the centre of everything.

Instead of having fully fledged tablets, laptops, desktops, we'll just have shells with the appropriate screens and peripherals that you can plug your smartphone into. Each app would have smartphone/tablet/desktop versions and the appropriate one would launch depending on what 'mode' it's currently being used in. Clearly storage size would need to increase massively for this to be practical. Much like the Asus padfone, but better.

Likewise with the car. Your dashboard will just be an in-car display of what's on your smartphone.

how can you not see that as feasible? most tablets used that are not based on Intel chipsets are the very same hardware as the high end smartphones in terms of cpu ram gpu. why not extending this to bigger screens with just one unit. it not like notebook/tablet docks would be a thing from the future

It is strange that each time I read about Apple or Google doing car integration technology, the articles never mention, as if they don't realize that Sync has been available in Ford and other brands of cars for several years now. (Even this one reads like Google is copying Apple, which is just a bit weird and out of context of the technologies.)

I know Microsoft has done a horrible job of promoting their technology, and even supporting their own technology, as Sync (Windows based) works better with Android or an iPhone than a Windows Phone because of the open App API Microsoft designed that wasn't fully support on WP7, and even with WP8 has to use a custom layer.

Ahh bloo bloo bloo.. Nobody cares about Sync, bud. Thats the problem. It doesnt stir consumer excitement much like all the Windows branded mobile products. Just like nobody cared about Windows Mobile in the 2000's even when MS managed to get some marketshare before they of course abandoned it (and didn't wake up again and realize it was something they shouldve continued with until the rest of the world had already passed them by).

Unfortunately its going to take a Google or Apple to come along and "do it right" and since Android has become the windows of mobile, makes sense for more manufacturers to start integrating with the most popular and common lightweight and mobile OS in the world.

As a Brit I had never heard of Microsoft Sync until I hired a car (Ford Escape) whilst on vacation in the USA, it doesn't seem very popular here in the UK. Granted I was using a Zune but it worked really well for me and I would definitely specify it as an option if it was available in the UK.

ardenx said,
Ahh bloo bloo bloo.. Nobody cares about Sync, bud. Thats the problem. It doesnt stir consumer excitement much like all the Windows branded mobile products. Just like nobody cared about Windows Mobile in the 2000's even when MS managed to get some marketshare before they of course abandoned it (and didn't wake up again and realize it was something they shouldve continued with until the rest of the world had already passed them by).

Unfortunately its going to take a Google or Apple to come along and "do it right" and since Android has become the windows of mobile, makes sense for more manufacturers to start integrating with the most popular and common lightweight and mobile OS in the world.

The strange part has NOTHING to do with Sync itself, expect that it is used in nearly 100% of Ford cars, which is the NUMBER one selling brand of cars in the US in 2013.

It is also used in other brands and is in use around the world in 10s of millions of cars, yet all the 'tech' articles truly don't realize it has been around for 1/2 a decade.

When nearly 20% of the cars in the world have a technology, you would think it might be mentioned, when specifically talking about the same technology in cars.

It would be like writing an article about American Sports cars and forgetting to mention the Corvette.

I personally don't like Sync and I don't like Ford, but that again is beside the point.
It is old tech that needs to be updated/replaced, I agree with you, but that wasn't my point.

Why the comments about WM, that have NOTHING to do with this conversation? Also, Microsoft never abandoned WM, in fact, you can still buy it today. Look it up...

*As for your 'bloo bloo' part... Really?

This is good news. More competition will force others to step up their game. I love Sync in my Shelby and I actually love it more than the system in my Mercedes.

will I be able to have a system choice screen when I start the car the first time? shouldn't be to hard to force that through in Europe

Where's the news in this story? For several months now Audi has been testing a Meego-based in-car infotainment system at the Nurburgring in Germany. The system, developed in Italy and Finland, will first be seen in Lamborghini vehicles later this year. Reporting this would have been far more interesting.

It would also be interesting to report on how Google plans to make money on this.

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