Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system for smartphones worldwide.
Now Google is hoping it can repeat that success in cars. The company has developed infotainment software for motor vehicles it hopes will become the brain of cars—an Android OS that feels as familiar as a phone but also controls vehicle settings like temperature and seat positioning.
Google Assistant will also be core to the software, enabling drivers to issue commands via voice, according to the Silicon Valley giant.
Later this week is I/O, Google’s annual mobile developers conference, where live demonstrations in an Audi Q8 will take place. Google’s software will soon run in Audio and Volvo’s entire fleets, according to the tech titan.
Google’s new Android technology will compete with BlackBerry’s QNX, as well as several in-house infotainment systems. The latter of which are likely to be replaced in the coming years by technology company’s software, which is now incredibly robust and can be deeply integrated into today’s “connected” cars.
QNX, which powers more than 50 million cars on the road already, probably isn’t going anywhere. And Apple is building out its CarPlay product, which is expected to relaunch with significantly more features in the coming years. Google has not yet offered a firm timeline for its own product to be commercially ready, but we anticipate it will arrive before Apple’s.