Google reportedly partners with Audi for on-board Android

The Web giant and the automaker will develop in-car entertainment and information systems based on Google's mobile operating system, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google is reportedly hitting the road for its next battle with Apple for mobile OS market share.

The Web giant has teamed with automaker Audi to develop in-car entertainment and information systems based on the Android operating system, according to the Wall Street Journal. The aim of the partnership, which is expected to be announced next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, would allow for in-car integration of music and navigation apps currently available on smartphones, sources told the Journal.

The partnership is expected to generate a challenger to Apple's iOS in the Car, which aims to integrate users' iPhones with their car's onboard receiver or "infotainment" system. Unveiled in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, the feature is expected to provide an interface that lets users control things like music, messages, and maps right through the vehicle.

So far, Apple has signed up such automakers as BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Hyundai, Kia, and Infiniti to integrate more iOS features into their cars. However, unlike Apple's platform, which requires and iOS device, this new flavor of Android would run on the vehicle's built-in hardware, the Journal's sources said.

The Journal did not indicate when the pair's efforts might appear in vehicles. CNET has contacted Google for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

At WWDC, Apple VP Eddy Cue said the iOS integration could kick off as soon as 2014, meaning the feature could begin appearing in select 2015 models. Possibly signaling that the new feature is on schedule, Apple released a second version of the iOS 7.1 beta to developers earlier this month that included a setting that lets users turn a "Car Display" on and off .

 

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