Google, GM, Honda, Audi will bring Android to the dash


GoogleGoogle at the Open Automotive Alliance, announced that General Motors, Honda, Audi, Hyundai, and chipmaker Nvidia want to customize Google’s Android operating system for vehicles. The announcement came just before the official opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Microsoft already has a similar partnership with Ford, supplying the OS for its Sync system; Apple Siri’s also has a deal with BMW, Mercedes, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. In March, Apple and BMW announced a partnership at the New York International Auto Show to create smart dashboards featuring iOS, the same operating system used in iPads and iPhones.

The news comes a week after The Wall Street Journal reported Audi planned to announce a partnership with Google at CES that revolves around developing these in-car entertainment and information systems based on Android software.

The goal is to establish Android as a key technology for future vehicles, making it the basis of how drivers and passengers access music, navigation tools, apps and other services already on Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Google has already partnered with German auto maker Continental AG to develop an automated car.

Google is planning to embed electronics into the car that will run natively on Android, likely with a unique IP address and full-time cellular connection. It will likely connect to existing cellular networks, perhaps via your existing wireless account, but not necessarily forced through your phone. Google has already supplied its Maps technology to a number of auto makers including Audi, Toyota and even Telsa Motors.

RBR-TVBR observation: As we’ve noted, radio is becoming just an app in the dash menu. Our job is to evolve with it and stay relevant with content and digital offerings. I’d say we’ve done a fairly good job of it so far, from Traffic and Nav systems to NextRadio, iHeartRadio, HD Radio and iTunes Tagging. The list goes on and should keep doing so.