Google to unveil its first in-car OS at 2014 I/O conference, will rival Apple CarPlay

Article by Christian A., on June 18, 2014

Google Inc. is unveiling its first in-car operating system at its annual Google I/O conference, set for June 25 and 26 in San Francisco, three people briefed on the project told Automotive News. The system -- known internally as Google Auto Link (GAL) during development -- will be the first fruit of the Open Automotive Alliance, a group of companies that include Google, Audi AG, General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Group and NVIDIA Corp.

According to the source, GAL is not an embedded infotainment system, but a “projected” system that allows a user to control the Android-based smartphones through the car’s own controls and display screen.

The sources said Google will not disclose yet which model would use GAL first. During the announcement of the creation of the Open Automotive Alliance in January, the group said it would bring the Android OS to cars starting this year.

As creator of the Android OS, it is just natural for Google to develop interfaces for the system. Google currently has partnerships with several carmakers.

For instance, Audi uses Google Earth satellite images as an overlay for GPS maps while some of Hyundai’s cars feature a built-in Google search engine function that enables drivers to find nearby destinations through voice recognition.

The GAL system would allow Google to follow the lead made by rival Apple Inc. Apple unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March the CarPlay, an interface that resembles that of the iPhone. CarPlay allows drivers to select a song, set a GPS destination or call a friend through voice activation or by the large buttons on a touchscreen.

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