The rivalry between Google and Apple will be taking a new route next year as the search giant enters the smart dashboard market.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show 2014, Google and Audi will be announcing a collaboration to develop an infotainment system based on Android, sources familiar with the matter stated.
The sources also claimed that the two will also be announcing a collaboration with other automotive and tech companies such as chip maker Nvidia, to establish the importance of Android in automobiles. Having Android installed in vehicles would allow consumers to access music, navigation, apps and services, that are similar to the Android smartphone experience.
Even with the support of Audi and Nvidia, Google still has some catching up to do if it hopes to beat Apple in the Smart Car market. At the moment, Apple has the support of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, and Honda Motors. This means Google has some work to do to attract even more automakers to use its platform.
Before car manufacturers can produce fully automated vehicles, they must first address the seamless connectivity of automobiles to the internet, as well as smartphones already being utilized by consumers. It would be easier for drivers to control their cars when it’s as easy as using their Android or iOS smartphones.
“The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Inc. who specializes in advanced in-car electronics. “Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle.”
Fortunately for Google, interest in using Android in car infotainment systems is gaining traction, especially in Asian markets. Google has been providing its maps technology to car makers such as Audi, Toyota, and Tesla Motors since 2006. There’s a huge possibility that the same companies would also be adopting Android in its infotainment systems.