Several years ago, for April Fools Day, I published an article about Ford & GM partnering to create an Android Car. While it was an April 1st hoax, I’ve always strongly believed that the automotive industry offers a huge area for potential Android expansion. We’re seeing more and more crossover between consumer electronics and the automotive industry, but Android has yet to make a strong push into the everyman’s vehicle.
I wouldn’t call a Lamborghini an “everyman” vehicle, but seeing NVIDIA pushing in-car technology with an Automotiver division makes me extremely excited for what the future holds.
As you probably know, NVIDIA entered the Android fold several years ago and today is a dominant player in smartphone and tablet processors and partnerships. Although their current automotive partnerships revolve around proprietary operating systems based on Linux, there is a very real possibility that car manufacturers – some of which have already shown an interest according to an NVIDIA rep – will adopt Android into their future vehicles.
Imagine getting into your car, docking your phone into the dashboard, and having your car automatically adjust to meet your needs. You’d have touchscreen navigation in the center console, similar displays for your various gauges such as speed/fuel/temperature, tablets docked in the headrest for entertainment, and all built with the in-car experience in mind. Perhaps best of all, it would be connected to your Google account and Android Market, meaning everything you’ve purchased (content / apps / games) would all be available at your fingertips.
NVIDIA (or any other company for that matter) haven’t announced any plans for a complete Android automotive solution, and it would likely take a couple years for a full solution to materialize, but I’m willing to bet that by CES 2014 we’ll be seeing a LOT more from automotive Android. Based on everything I’ve seen thus far, I’m hoping a bunch of that will come from NVIDIA.