Audi and Volvo go all-in on Android Auto
Audi and Volvo are making a very public commitment to Google after pledging to build Android Auto into their next generation of cars. Rather than simply enabling your smartphone to interact with the vehicle, Google’s software will form the backbone of these car’s infotainment units. Users will, potentially, be able to use a wide variety of Android-specific apps on their whips, as well as use Google Maps for navigation. In addition, drivers will be able to control their AC, sunroof and windows from the same console that they find a new Spotify playlist or chat to their voice assistant.
Google has a developer conference coming up, and so the company is beginning to trumpet the abilities of its software platforms. It is hoping that more automakers will adopt Android Auto as a “turnkey” platform, one that car makers can simply use on their cars, similar to how phone manufacturers use Android itself.
We’ve already seen this in action, Google was demoing a Maserati that was running Android Auto at last year’s I/O. Its utility was already obvious, even back then, since Google’s interface is worlds away from the terrible automotive displays we normally use.
It should, hopefully, enable those vehicles to become more useful over time as more features are added to Android Auto. It’ll also ensure that cars of the future are little more than glorified smartphone accessories — albeit ones that are several thousand dollars more expensive than a sexy case.