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Android: Coming to a Car Near You

Posted by: Julie Piatek

Earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google announced its new partnership with General Motors, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and chip manufacturer Nvidia, to bring the Android system to vehicles as soon as later this year. The new infotainment system will provide drivers and passengers with dashboard-mounted access to music, navigation, apps and other services that are available on Android smartphones. Android claims this new feature will create a “driving-optimized” experience to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Google’s move is seen as a response to Apple’s “iOS in the car” feature which allows users to connect their iPhone devices to an in-car display. The "iOS in the Car" app has led Apple into partnerships with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Honda. The “iOS in the Car” feature isn’t available as of yet, but Apple says it’s "coming soon" (there are rumors that it could be part of the next iOS 7 software update). However, this software is already available in some vehicles on the market – including the Chevy Spark and Sonic cars – that both come with the Siri Eyes Free technology that allows drivers to push a button on their steering wheel to access certain iPhone voice commands.

In-car technology is a hot topic within the industry right now, and the market for in-car connectivity is rapidly growing. In fact, the Chicago Auto Show will be hosting an entire conference surrounding in-car technology and connectivity in general, called the Connected World Conference. The Connected World Conference will showcase technologies, products and services developed to enhance the in-car experience. App developers, device makers, software companies, and product and car manufacturers collectively will provide 10 days of programming during the show.

Where do you think in-car connectivity is headed? Will your in-car application begin interacting with other aspects of your life? Comment here or tweet us @ChiAutoShow.

 

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