Google first had Android Auto but in the past couple of years have been developing a deeper Android integration into the automobile called Android Automotive. We saw it announced at Google IO last year with them expanding on that this year.
In a big push into the industry Google is partnering with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to bring Android-powered infotainment systems. This Alliance sells more vehicles (10.6 million vehicles globally) than any other auto manufacturer and is looking to bring their Android-powered systems from 2021.
The new infotainment system will give drivers basically built in Android Auto functionality such as Google Assistant voice control, Google Maps as well as Play Store access. Google have already announced a partnership with Volvo to bring these systems to their cars but due to privacy concerns (and automobile manufacturers also looking to cash in on that precious data from the systems) no other big names had signed on.
With Android in over 80% of the world’s smartphones the Alliance believes that many of its customers are already in the Google ecosystem and will take to it easily and prefer it over other solutions. The terms of the partnership are unknown at this stage but Google will have access to the data generated by the system and the apps on it but only if the customer grants them that permission in the first place.
Many cars are expected to begin arriving with built-in modems for internet access the volume of users wanting this connected experience in the car is likely to grow in the coming years. For those looking for more information on Android Automotive read our coverage of it from Google IO this year.
Many manufacturers are still shy to include Android Auto into their cars it seems far fetched that this will become a reality but the partnership is there for all to see. Hopefully it will be successful and many more manufacturers will also jump on the Android Automotive bandwagon.