The first smart-OS equipped car might belong to Google instead of Apple, and it looks like it is going to be an Audi. 2014 would see the next battlefield taking place on the roads.
Google has teamed up with carmaker Audi to develop in-car entertainment and information systems based on the Android operating system, according to the Wall Street Journal. The aim of the partnership, which is expected to be announced next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, would allow for in-car integration of music and navigation apps currently available on smartphones. It could be a mis-mash of the Nexus ChromeCast and Nexus Q for cars.
And why not? Apps like Waze already feature excellent GPS navigation services on your smartphone, and might be even better than what’s available from the car manufacturers.
This partnership would serve to compete Apple’s iOS implementations, which till date is for the integration of the iPhones with car’s onboard receiver or entertainment system. Apple has been aggressive, with automakers such as BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari and Hyundai lined up. The list of manufacturers would also cover a wide spectrum, instead of just Audi, which typically focus on the premium market.
The slight difference is that Google’s implementation should be a standalone feature, and operated on the car built in hardware alone. With CES coming up in 2 weeks time, more information should be available soon.
Similarly, at June’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple VP Eddy Cue had indicated that the iOS integration could kick off as soon as 2014, with the features appearing in the 2015 car models. Further hints are through the recent iOS 7.1 beta, which included settings to turn a Car Display on/off.
It will be an interesting year for drivers! Perhaps for those super eager folks, how about hacking up an Android tablet to replace the in car entertainment unit instead?