As we announced it here, Google revealed today at the I/O Developer Conference the Android Auto, its brand new in-car control system developed for smartphones, to rival Apple’s CarPlay. First of all, we don’t see the new Android Auto as a rival to Apple CarPlay, but as a way to reduce the risk of accidents because you may already know, people are distracted during driving by their smartphones.
Google’s Android Auto is completely voice-enabled, which means that the driver can keep its hands on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road. Known as Google Auto Link during the development stage, the Android Auto promises to be the first product arriving from the Open Automotive Alliance a.k.a. a group led by Google that includes carmakers such as Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai as well as the well-known chipmaker Nvidia.
According to Google, the Android Auto is a projected system and not an embedded operating system. This means that the smartphones using the Android operating system can be plugged into the car and the driver can access its features using the controls found on the steering wheel but also via the display screen.
Google says that its new in-car control system will offer voice-activated text messaging, the Google Play Music but also the useful Google Maps. Although Google didn’t give any details about which models will use the new Android Auto system, we do know that Hyundai’s brand new 2015 Sonata will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto by the end of this year. In addition, Audi also announced that it will introduce Android Auto on all-new models launched in 2015.
Other carmakers to offer the Android Auto are Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Audi, Bentley, Chevrolet, Opel, Honda, Acura, Kia, Nissan, Infiniti, Renault, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki and Volvo. [source: Google]