A version of Google’s Android-based operating system for cars which runs without the need for a smartphone could be released next year.
Google is working on a version of its in-car operating system which will require no smartphone to operate and launch in a year’s time, according to reports.
The company has long suggested that its Android Auto software, which is designed to control various functions within a car such as entertainment, navigation and settings, will eventually be built-in directly to the car and operate regardless of the presence of a smartphone. Butreports from Reuters today claims that this is now scheduled for release in around a year with the “Android M” update.
Android Auto is an attempt to push a variant of the operating system already popular in smartphones and tablets as the default platform for in-car computers. But it faces stiff competition in the market from Apple.
Many manufacturers are already signed up with one, other or both of the companies to integrate such systems into their cars.
Early this year Google teamed up with Audi, Honda and GM to create the Open Automotive Alliance and push the open-source Android operating system into every new car to make driving “safer, easier and more enjoyable”.
The search giant hoped that the OAA will make Android a common standard for in-car computers, bringing the 700,000 existing apps to dashboards. The Alliance was aimed at “accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale”.
The move closely resembled Google’s creation of the Open Handset Alliance in 2007 to promote Android as a smartphone operating system. The Alliance requires members to agree that they will not produce devices that run incompatible forks of Android, keeping the OS on a focused development track.
Apple has already shown its hand in this market and announced deals with BMW, Daimler, Mercedes and Honda to produce smart dashboards featuring iOS, the same operating system used by iPads and iPhones.
This ties-in with its Siri application which can dictate emails or text messages and carry out commands via voice control, a feature which could prove very useful for drivers.
Apple has taken an approach which sees the iPhone as the brains of the system, which then connects with speakers, microphones and screen inside the car. Google is now reportedly taking a different approach and embedding electronics into the car which will run Android natively.
Car electronics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and well-connected. GM’s chief executive recently announced that all models from 2015 onwards with 4G chips to provide constant internet connections without the need for a smartphone.
Originally posted on The Telegraph