The idea of Android powered cars isn’t a new one. It has been around since 2014 when Google introduced Android Auto. While traditional car makers have been wary of adopting Google’s software for their vehicles, it looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel with Audi and Volvo adopting it.
The fear of traditional auto makers is understandable. Whoever owns the software platform that connected cars run will dictate the game to a large extent. As such, quite a number of car makers have invested in software in recent times. In 2015, Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen acquired Nokia’s HERE Maps and have had self-driving cars powered by that platform on the road for years.
Wary Car Makers
Ford has been in bed with BlackBerry’s QNX software. Nissan and Renault have their own in-house Linux-based platform. Toyota opted to play with an in-house solution too. The pattern of car makers avoiding Android Auto has been clear. So this new development is good news for the platform.
Google isn’t calling it Android Auto anymore though, or so it seems, as there was no usage of that term at the I/O conference this year. But the idea is the same: Google wants your cars to be powered by Android OS. But now, the improved version of Android Auto runs deeper than just connectivity with your smartphone. The OS becomes the underlying software of the car.
Android Takes Over The Car
You won’t even need a smartphone to use it. Your car becomes the smartphone, for lack of a better way to put it. And your car can now talk to your house, your PC, and as many other devices that your Android smartphone can interact with. And Google Assistant is in there now too. Sounds like an Iron Man car, if you understand how Iron Man’s body suit works.
You can see the progression from here: fully self-aware self-driving automobiles that can interact with humans. Self-driving cars are no new thing. We have quite a number of prototypes on roads, running tests in cities across the world. But having Android OS power such cars opens a new dimension to it all. Google has been nursing this dream for a long time and it is about to happen.
Android Powered Cars Are Coming
The new system has already been demonstrated on the Audi Q8 and Volvo V90 SUVs and Google is hopeful that it will make its way to production models soon. All other things being equal, you can expect to see Android powered cars from Audi and Volvo on sale in the not too far future.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.