GM, Audi, Hyundai, Honda, nVidia join Google Android’s ‘Open Automotive Alliance’

“Google’s bid to counter Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy with an Android-based solution gained a new head of steam Monday with the announcement of the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance,” Shane Cole reports for AppleInsider. “Word of the initiative first surfaced last week with a report that Google and German marque Audi would soon announce a partnership aimed at bringing Android-powered ‘infotainment’ systems to the carmaker’s vehicle lineup.”

“With the addition of General Motors, Hyundai, and Honda, Google now counts 4 of the top 10 auto manufacturers in the world as backers,” Cole reports. “The Open Automotive Alliance appears to be modeled on the Open Handset Alliance, a Google-led consortium that drives commercial development of Android for mobile devices.”

“It is unclear what Monday’s announcement means for Apple’s iOS in the Car program,” Cole reports. “GM, Hyundai, and Honda were among the manufacturers previously tabbed as Apple partners and have already announced vehicles sporting the iPhone-powered system for release in 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing precludes both iOS and whatever fragmented morass of malware and user tracking Google shovels to automakers from existing in the same vehicle. It’s not a stretch to imagine Google plastering Home Depot, McDonald’s, etc. ads on your car’s control screen as you approach each location. Or how about Totes umbrella ads whenever you turn on your wipers? Ah, the price of “free.” Hopefully the carmakers will allow owners to disable the fragmandroid “solution” if its “features” are not desired.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple battles Google to forge vehicle ties – December 30, 2013
Apple patent application reveals in-vehicle holistic ID for ‘iOS in the Car’ – December 12, 2013
ABI Research: Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ to be No. 1 in-vehicle system by 2018 – November 1, 2013
General Motors adds Apple’s Siri Eyes Free to more vehicles following ‘remarkable’ customer response – October 16, 2013
Hidden contacts revealed within Apple’s iOS in the Car – August 8, 2013
Automakers integrate Apple’s iOS in the Car to minimize driver distraction, increase customer satisfaction – July 30, 2013
Why Apple is planning aggressive 2014 launch for ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 26, 2013
Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’ – July 25, 2013
Apple has its eyes on automakers with ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 5, 2013
Ford plummets to 27th in J.D. Power vehicle quality rankings on Microsoft-developed ‘MyFord Touch’ woes – June 20, 2012

52 Comments

    1. ROADKILL!
      That is what you ought to fear!
      For Crookle to avoid malware in in-car systems, they will have to re-write Android from top to bottom and then deny access to the development kit to all non-automotive business.
      This will necessitate new droid handsets that will be compatible with it or a new gadget that may or may not be a smartphone, leading to FRAGMENTATION yet again.
      If Crookle decide to address as large a base as possible by allowing “Tom, Dick & Harry Android developers” to have access to new Android code, then ROADKILL, literary is what we can expect as motorists fiddle about with settings, skins and preferences in a bid to avoid each automobile manufacturers skins created to prevent compatibility with other cars.
      Malware on top of that could lead to an increase in accidents caused by car controls that have been cloned in a bid to juice out valuable motorists personal information and bank details.
      Heaven help us all if that were to happen! the scenario of android robots running faster than human beings would recede into the good ol’ days as people begin to fear out of control droid cars!!!
      Sorry to usher in the new year with a ‘doom and gloom’ analysis.

  1. Surely car manufacturers need to support both? Both Android and iOS have large numbers of users so if they want it to be a selling feature they need to accommodate as many people as possible. I am unlikely to not buy a car because it doesn’t support my phone fully (although I might if torn between two, one that does and one that doesn’t), but I’m also unlikely to change my phone. Ultimately, if my phone doesn’t work I just won’t use it.

      1. Realistically you should be able to use either at any time. It’s basically only going to be software, plus any hardware buttons they may or may not want (which will likely be the same on either system). Android and iOS updates are free (where available), but of course, auto manufactures charge and charge for everything.

        1. You don’t see smartphones with both iOS and Android operating systems on them. I don’t see these car systems being implemented differently. Optimally, you should be able to use either at any time, I agree. But I’ll take a guess that it’ll be an either / or scenario, regardless of what would actually benefit the customers more (resale value & etc.).

            1. Great, what software company wrote the OS for your car’s central computer? Your radio?

              Hint: they’re not written by the company whose sticker is on the hood.

  2. I think MDN’s take is spot-on. I hope car manufacturers will offer iOS in the Car and other OS-based systems as options a buyer can add to a vehicle. They have every incentive to provide both platforms to avoid alienating people.

    1. Agreed, look folks this is not hard.

      Because cars can easily have a wireless connection, it will be up to the vehicle buyer to download to their vehicle the OS type for the device integration they prefer. This would also be necessary so that when you sold the vehicle, the new owner could change which OS they wanted to use. I would assume you would have user names and passwords that would allow for integration and rock solid privacy protection.
      What will be critical is that the owners of these vehicles delete or remove any traces of previous owners so that the new owners don’t get any personal information left in the system.
      Personally I need my vehicle to integrate with my (Apple) devices to make my life easier and safer for everyone. What I am concerned about is if these OS’s actually will cause issues with the operation of my vehicles computer system and if I can removed and control what information the system stores or sends to the manufacturer, my insurance company, advertisers, and third parties. Also, if the system is secure so no one can wirelessly read or control or access the information.

      Which would you trust? I guess this is the same decisions you have to make when you purchase your devices, correct?

    1. Among the vast majority of people I know there is much stronger loyalty to Apple than to their favourite automotive manufacturer.

      That’s a huge shift.

      If the manufacturers are smart they’ll offer Apple’s system, to “force people” to buy their automotive products.

  3. I will avoid any and all automotive that is branded Google & Android. The influx of $$$$$$ must have been HUGE$$$$. If you can not innovate …. then bribe your way in.

      1. That’s why Ford is not an option when I’m looking for a new car. I’ll never support brands with exclusive mafiasoft or gaggle in the car. If I don’t have iOS in the car option, then the brand is out of an option.

    1. First off, the OAA is about connectivity between cars, where Android and Google would rain supreme. Android is completely open sourced, and you may be forgetting its simply Linux. (key word being OPEN). Auto makers will be able to completely customize it (as will the user i’d assume). And does Google really sell anything, everything they do is free!? I’d assume the OS will be built into the car, so there will be no real need to plug your phone in. Your media will sync automatically, and you can choose where you buy your music etc from. Apple is great but this comment is nonsense.

  4. I’d rather have a 1958 Chevrolet Impala with no bells, no seat belts, no catalytic converters, no Android, no government-mandated anything…you open the hood and actually see the engine and can fix it.

      1. The big, tabloid-size Rand-McNally atlas is still the best resource for planning trips that don’t use the shortest, fastest route. Charles Kuralt said it best, “If you want to see America, get off the Interstate.” If you want to take the most scenic route, R-M should be your first planning tool.

        Bot – government mandate aside, seat belts are a good thing.

  5. How long is it going to take before google gets banned from using the word “open” to describe their products? Android is “open” as long as you follow googles set of rules.
    As far as cars go, Google tracking everywhere I go is not a feature I’m looking for

  6. I was considering get a BMW or Audi , but after they announce that Audi will be partner with Android , it makes the whole brand cheap and unsafe, thanks for the early insight for me to make my decision to cross out Audi 🙂

  7. What’s in this for Google? I can see phones being valuable to Google (search based ads) but I don’t want ads in a car when getting directions. I also wonder about fragmentation car OS 1 only works with Android OS 4 not to mention phone manufacturing skins causing trouble.

  8. I hope this isn’t some exclusive thing nor do I hope they both exist at the same time in the car. I love my Hondas, but if Google is running the car, my next one won’t be a Honda.

  9. This will most likely fail into obscurity for the same reason Apple has the lion’s share of mobile profits; The BOGO crowd doesn’t spend money like well heeled Apple users.
    So they won’t be buying brand new cars with these features.

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