Google Inc. has commenced working on a version of Android that will be built directly into vehicles, sources told Reuters. While the current Android Auto software requires an Android smartphone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access the Internet and a number of installed apps, the version in works allow drivers to use all those features even without plugging in their smartphones.
According to the sources, Google plans to provide details for its plans for placing Android Auto directly into cars when it introduces the next Android M operating system within at least a year.
Thilo Koslowski, vice president and Automotive Practice Leader of industry research firm Gartner, remarked that the built-in Android Auto would provide “a much stronger foothold” for Google to become part of the vehicle instead of being just an add-on.
He noted that he was not aware of Google's latest plans in this area. Should Google succeed, Android would become the standard OS that powers a vehicles infotainment system, and the IT giant could further solidify its position in the connected vehicle market.
Likewise, the system gives Google a capability to possibly access data collected by a vehicle. With its OS directly built in a car, Google is assured that its services are used every time drivers switch on their vehicles, even without a smartphone plugged in.
Also, Google could make more use of a vehicle’s camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections. Analysts, however, Google's plan could face a number of technical and business hurdles.