The Android OS currently powers over 1 billion handheld devices. But soon enough, General Motors’ offerings will have an infotainment system based on Google’s widely used operating system. GM’s supplier of its next-generation infotainment system -- Harman International – has disclosed that it would base the technology on Android and would roll it out on the carmaker’s vehicles in late 2016.
Harman chief executive remarked that the next-generation infotainment system will enable an app store to allow it to stay “technologically relevant over the life cycle of the vehicle.” The apps for the infotainment system will be developed by not only Google, but also General Motors, Harman and other third parties. Harman is a member of the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance.
He remarked that the company is collaborating with Google on the system to ensure that Android is “automotive-grade ready.” That would mean that Harman cater to demands from carmakers, including making the Android infotainment system start up almost instantaneously as soon as the driver starts the vehicle.
According to Paliwal, GM would be the first carmaker to offer vehicles with Harman’s new operating system. He noted that other carmakers could adopt the OS “one life cycle behind.” He did not disclose which GM models would have the privilege to don the new Android-based infotainment.
Likewise, there would a challenge for GM on how to deploy the Android system across its lineup, since its products are using several operating systems.
For instance, IHS senior analyst Mark Boyadjis told Automotive News that the Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze sedans use Blackberry Ltd.’s QNX, while the Tahoe SUV and Impala sedan employ Linux. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact and Spark minicar use an operating system from Microsoft Corp.