Cars will become one of the platforms for the next version of Android

Published on December 22, 2014

Cars will become one of the platforms for the next version of Android

    Android M will drive infotainment systems


    If you believe the sources of Reuters (these are two people who prefer not to publish their own names), then Google is currently working on adapting Android to work as an OS for an infotainment system in cars. Google declined to comment on the leak.

    This will be a big step relative to the existing Android Auto. This feature of the Lollipop version allows you to connect your phone for access from the built-in dashboard screen to music broadcasting, search queries, calls, voice dialing of text messages and navigation. The first cars with Android Auto will appear next year. They are expected to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas.

    Like Apple's CarPlay, Android Auto requires a smartphone to work and access the latter to the car dashboard screen. This is not an independent operating system, so Android Auto and CarPlay can not access low-level functions: radio, cameras, air conditioning.

    Android Auto is still the only Android choice for the car, except for the OS that Harman International is developing , it is also based on Android. In Android M, the situation may change.

    In it, you will no longer need to connect a phone - Google services will start immediately after turning the ignition key. The operating system will collect data from sensors, satellite navigation systems, fuel level indicators and cameras and gain access to the Internet, if the corresponding module is in the vehicle configuration. This will allow her to “remember” where the driver goes every day, and, for example, recommend a gas station if the car runs out of fuel.

    The name of the future version of the operating system is still unknown. By tradition, these are desserts, the first letters of which follow in alphabetical order, and the next is M. Because of the design language Material Designand the need to comply with many standards around the world, the interface of the new car system can be very similar to Android Auto.

    Today's choice for infotainment systems is often QNX from Blackberry, Windows CE, or some special Linux-based development. Android, with its focus on touch input, seems like a natural choice for the role of such an OS.

    Google, however, will have to work hard to make Android attractive to auto giants - the operating system will be quite deeply integrated into those components of cars that automakers usually prefer to leave within their sphere of influence and responsibility. Brands want uniqueness, not uniformity of shells, when the systems of cars from different manufacturers are almost no different.

    Reuters also notes that Android’s launch time will have to be improved if it’s really intended to be used in this area. Modern Android smartphones are loaded for several tens of seconds.

    It is reported that Android M will be released in about a year. Prior to this, Google had never talked about the approximate time frame for the release of Android for car infotainment systems.

    Manufacturers are integrating their mobile solutions into more and more new devices - the latest novelty is smart watches. According to statistics, the average American spends almost an hour a day - 50 minutes - at the wheel, which makes embedding software products in cars a very attractive market niche.

    In March this year, Apple talked about CarPlay . Google, in turn, has entered into contracts for the use of Android Auto with several automakers, including Nissan Motor Co and General Motors.