Google’s Open Automotive Alliance is a key move to bring Android to cars



We thought it was pretty amazing when Google formed the Open Handset Alliance and brought together tons of major industry players to be the driving force behind the machine that is known as Android. Now, they’re doing the same with cars.

Google has officially announced the Open Automotive Alliance, a “band of brothers” consisting of some of the top automakers and chipset vendors in the world. The roster is small right now, with the likes of Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai coming on board as charter members in the automotive industry. NVIDIA has also signed on as a player, with the silicon company wanting to get behind this movement.

Google says there’s no good reason folks shouldn’t have a great info-tainment experience tailor made for the car. You already have Android tablets and huge Android phones that can be docked or fitted inside a custom dash, and those devices tend to come with car mode, but Google wants to create an experience that is truly fitting for a vehicle.

While we don’t have any details on their exact plans just yet, Google says we shouldn’t look much further than 2014 for the first developments of this exciting new partnership to take form. In the meantime, they’re inviting anyone who’s willing to throw their hat into the arena and help out the cause. Let’s hope tons more automakers and industry players come together for what should be an exciting ride (see what I did there?). Be sure to check Google’s OAA site for more information.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’m not a fan of touchscreen controls in cars.. going from a 2004 C230 to a 2012 Camry w/ touchscreen…was aweful…now in a 2014 KIA Forte with physical controls…now back at home..hopefully android can incorporate. both physical and software controls…saw a demo of the iPad in a Tesla…not impressed..

    1. There is no iPad in a Tesla. It is a linux based touch screen infotainment system.

  2. No, just don’t.
    All we need in cars is the ability to push the screen of a smartphone to it. These things never get updated, car makers will do all kinds of stupid branding, and in general they will suck.

    1. If they *must* do it, then make the unit easily replaceable. (Easier than replacing a car radio, for example.)

      Oh, and if they put an expensive computer into a car, does it become a new target for thieves? Are they addressing that?

    2. I submit one of the big ideas here is that it will get updated. Maybe this OS will require the car to have some sort of 3G or 4G connection in car so they can just OTA. Would be nice if the manufacturers were not allowed to skin it and thus make it more difficult to update. Every go Nexus!

      1. It will get updated for 18 months, or maybe a few years, but cars last decades.

    3. I concur. Screen mirroring and BT pairing so your phone can interact with the car’s built in systems.

    4. Totally agree here. Please give me me my fast, new processor, my dialer, my Google Maps, Google Now (or iOS equivalents, if that’s your thang) on my car or whatever rental I jump into.

      Auto makers work on much smaller margins than phone makers, are even more cost-conscious. They put slow processors in your $30,000 car’s infotainment system, and it drags from the moment you drive it off the lot.

      If they incorporate Android they’ll try to run it through some expensive subscription service like OnStar or BlueLink to generate post-sale revenues, and they’ll STILL base the system on a 3-year-old SOC.

      Then they’ll track and sell all user data for even more revenue (strange we haven’t heard more about this BS already – try getting a clear answer from the automaker about what data they collect even after you’ve “disconnected” these services).

    5. Exactly. Just look at the maps software within current infotainment centers. How reliable is it when the maps are 5+ years old? I know around here in the Northern VA area, there’s always tons of construction on roads and new houses/offices being built.
      Ideally, I think I’d like to stick my phone in a cradle in the dash, have some way for the steering wheel controls to control my phone, and use that as my infotainment center. I know people have done it and it is certainly possible, but while I am somewhat of a DIYer, I’m somewhat wary of doing things of that nature to my car…

      1. “Ideally, I think I’d like to stick my phone in a cradle in the dash, have some way for the steering wheel controls to control my phone, and use that as my infotainment center.”

        That’s how Bluetooth AVRCP works, it still lacks some functions though. I’ve got it in my Pioneer headunit. And many new systems can do this directly from the car manufacturer. I’ve tried it in Volvo and Renault cars. You get the song info on the screen directly from your smartphone, and you can skip songs and pause/play from the radio/steering wheel. So you don’t have to interact with the phone, everything via. bluetooth.

        It’s still pretty new, i hope the next versions will make it possible to transfer the playlists to the car/radio screen, not possible with AVRCP right now.

  3. Isn’t BMW an Apple-only love affair? The Androidification of car systems can only be a good thing, imo.

    (Going to put CyanogenMod on my self-driving 2020 Tesla and root it so the cops can’t disable me after bank heists! /s :))

    1. Count me in!!! I’ll have my Android powered Tommy Gun!!!!!

  4. Good news everybody now you can get ads pushed to your cars dashboard thanks Google.

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