Google has just announced that it's joining forces with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia to create the Open Automotive Alliance. In other words, it's planning to take Android to the automobile.
According to Google, the new alliance is "aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customisation and scale". That echoes the spirit with which it pushes its mobile OS for phones and tablets, only now it's going to be working with four of the world's biggest car manufacturers to shove it into your dash instead. The announcement confirms rumours which circulated last week, suggesting Audi was working with Google on an Android project.
Seems Google has high hopes for porting its technology to cars too. In a blog post, Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, writes:
Wouldn't it be great if you could bring your favourite apps and music with you, and use them safely with your car's built-in controls and in-dash display? Together with our OAA partners, we're working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers.
That makes it sound like one big, delicious streamlined project. In reality, it will likely be a little more fragmented — just like the current phone market — but let's not judge it too harshly just yet.
Indeed, it stands stiff enough competition as it is. Last June, at its 2013 developers conference, Apple announced plans to integrate iOS into the car dash, and has garnered support from BMW, Mercedez-Benz, GM and Honda in the process.
Clearly, it remains to be seen whether Apple or Google will dominate in-car. But either way, it will be refreshing to finally have a real slice of technology at the wheel. [Google]