One of the things being featured at Google I/O this year is Android integration in cars. We’re not talking about plugging in your phone and seeing it projected on a screen, like Android Auto. This is full Android built right into the infotainment systems. Audi has a concept car running Android and Volvo has the V90 Cross Country.
Like the Audi, this is the full Android OS with a custom Volvo UI. There are a number of advantages to doing it this way instead of Android Auto. The obvious reason is you don’t have to plug in your phone, but it also means greater compatibility. Developers don’t have to do anything special to their apps to make them work in a vehicle.
A big part of what makes this possible now, compared to the past, is Google Assistant. You can use your voice to interact with the system, which keeps your eyes and attention on the road. Use your voice to pull up navigation, find a stop along the way, and start playing music. You can even control smart home appliances at your home while you’re driving.
The V90 is running Android 7.0 Nougat, but it probably won’t launch on the V90. Volvo hopes to have it in cars within 2 years. Do you think this full-blown approach is better than the simpler approach of Android Auto?