Google hopes to get automakers to build Android directly into vehicles

“Google Inc. is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones,” Alexei Oreskovic and Ben Klayman report for Reuters. “The move is a major step up from Google’s current Android Auto software, which comes with the latest version of its smartphone operating system and requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps.”

“Google, however, has never provided details or a timeframe for its long-term plan to put Android Auto directly into cars. The company now plans to do so when it rolls out the next version of its operating system, dubbed Android M, expected in a year or so, two people with knowledge of the matter said,” Oreskovic and Klayman report. “If successful, Android would become the standard system powering a car’s entertainment and navigation features, solidifying Google’s position in a new market where it is competing with arch-rival Apple Inc. Google could also potentially access the valuable trove of data collected by a vehicle.”

“Direct integration into cars ensures that drivers will use Google’s services every time they turn on the ignition, without having to plug in the phone. It could allow Google to make more use of a car’s camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections that come with some newer car models,” Oreskovic and Klayman report. “By tapping into the car’s components, Google could also gain valuable information to feed its data-hungry advertising business model. ‘You can get access to GPS location, where you stop, where you travel everyday, your speed, your fuel level, where you stop for gas,’ one of the sources said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, um, good luck with that “plan,” Google.


  1. “Google could also potentially access the valuable trove of data collected by a vehicle…It could allow Google to make more use of a car’s camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections…Google could…gain valuable information to feed its data-hungry advertising business model. ”

    Fook that. Any automaker that signs up for this gets crossed off my list.

  2. This might have worked before the iPhone came out, but with nearly half all smartphones purchased today in the US being from Apple, who really believes this fantasy is remotely likely anytime soon?

    I was very interested in a new Lincoln when I was last in the market for a new car, but dropped the idea when I discovered the infotainment system was from Microsoft, who basically cares nothing about the user experience.

    As an iPhone user, it is extremely unlikely I’d ever ever consider a new vehicle now where I couldn’t make use of my Apple infrastructure. So, the QNX core allowing CarPlay and Android’s car integration are clearly the way for auto manufacturers to try to get customers of all mobile devices interested. An added benefit is that phones can be / are updated regularly by their manufacturers. Integrated car systems are virtually never updated unless a bug makes them inoperable. In short, car makers view the built-in infotainment system as a one time profit upgrade, not a system to be maintained and upgraded in software over the life of the vehicle.

    I think this is an excellent business fantasy for Google to pursue, but I can’t see any rational auto manufacturer falling into the trap of alienating half of their potential customers to benefit Google, unless Google throws in a lot of money to underwrite the effort, basically guaranteeing a percentage of their advertising revenue generated by the data they’d be collecting for the infotainment system’s use.

    I guess we’ll see, but I’d personally never pay for a standalone Google infotainment system in my car, when my iPhone’s services give me access to my music and the world.

  3. In a related story, google plans to have Google Glass implanted in the rectum of all newborns, achieving a lifelong goal of Sergi and Larry of having everyone’s heads up their asses. Eric Schmidt calls this a feature. Rumor is that this will be called the Google Mole Hole.

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