Google has teamed up with some of the world's biggest car companies to integrate its Android operating system directly into cars.
In addition to the web search giant, what they are calling the Open Automotive Alliance includes Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and chip-maker Nvidia.
The consortium aims to integrate the world's most widespread smartphone operating system into vehicles, in what Google executive Patrick Brady termed a “driving-optimised experience.”
The Android engineering chief said in a blog posting on Monday: “Wouldn't it be great if you could bring your favorite apps and music with you and use them safely with your car's built-in controls and in-dash display?
“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.”
The alliance aims to challenge Apple's plans to integrate its iPhones into vehicles.
While the so-called “iOS in the Car” has still not officially been released, Honda has introduced one of its features, Siri Eyes Free, which allows drivers to perform some basic functions through voice commands, in some Accord and Acura models.
Automakers, however, may now prefer the Android operating system, which is provided for free by Google, and which is also open source, meaning that it can be more easily customised for specific vehicles. The inclusion of Nvidia in the alliance also offers advantages; the chip company has said it is developing a new processor - the Tegra K1 vehicle computing module - specifically for cars, adapting its latest chip for use in cars with functions such as pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitoring. - Sapa-dpa