The newly announced Android Auto platform for in-car entertainment and navigation systems, presents Google’s plans for the car, or so we thought. According to sources who have spoken to Reuters, Google may be planning even further implementations of Android in the car, at an even more base level.
According to sources who declined to be named, Google is looking to provide a product called ‘Android M’ which will run at a base level in the car, providing Google Services without the need to plug your phone into the car. The currently announced and rolling out Android Auto, currently utilises a system whereby users connect their phone to the car via microUSB, which allows the phones software to be ‘cast’ to the car stereo. This proposed new system would do away with that need, while at the same time providing Google with a whole lot more data.
‘Android M’ is apparently not where it needs to be though according to the source, with technical issues such as a need for ‘instant on’ needed before car makers would adopt any such platform. Android currently takes anywhere from 10-30 seconds depending on a number of factors when booting up, so this would require a re-think in how the system would be implemented and used.
From the sounds of it, this is no short-term plan though. With cars using Android Auto rolling into dealerships from almost 30 manufacturers in 2015, it would give Google a long time to overcome any technical hurdles. As well, a longer time-frame for launch, would give Google more time to garner any new data on the in-car experience of Android Auto and implement that into any other planned releases.
Google also has a pretty good head-start in vehicles, as makers of possibly the most well known autonomous vehicles. Vehicle manufacturers have been catching up with Google on this front though, so whether they want Google to get any further into cars is unknown. Google understandably declined to comment on this rumour, so it’s a matter of wait and see.
Will ‘Android M’ make an appearance in cars of the future? It’s possible. It’s also possible that this could be a natural progression for Android Auto, after being used for some time. Only time will tell.
Will you be looking for a car, or head-unit with Android Auto when they start rolling out next year?