At next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and Audi are expected to announce the joint development of in-car entertainment and infotainment systems based on the Android software.
According to people familiar with the matter, Google also plans to announce collaborations with other automotive and tech companies, including chip maker Nvidia Corp., to establish Android as an important technology for future vehicles.
Google wants to offer similar music, navigation, apps and services in cars to those available now on Android-powered smartphones. Google’s move is seen as a response to Apple’s initiative launched last June to integrate iPhones and other devices running its iOS operating system with carmaker’s dashboard control panels. Apple so far has agreed to collaborate with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, GM and Honda.
“Cars are becoming more complex, and with the computing power that is going into vehicles, you need that type of system in the car,” Audi's head of product strategy Filip Brabec told The Wall Street Journal. He acknowledged that future vehicles will need computer operating systems to support the kind of apps and functions that consumers want to access while driving.
At the CES 2014, Audi is also projected to demonstrate new technologies that allow cars to drive themselves in certain situations and for short periods of time. The systems are set to arrive on new models over the next four or five years.
Ford is said to demonstrate an autonomous vehicle it has developed at CES next week. BMW has also announced a demonstration of related technology.
By Dan Mihalascu