Google Open Automotive Alliance puts Android in your motor

Google wants to take over your motor with a federation of carmakers who want your Android phone to work better with their four-wheeled products.

Not content with building its own self-driving cars, Google wants to take over your motor, today announcing the Open Automotive Alliance, a federation of co-operative carmakers who want your Android phone to work better with their four-wheeled products.

Audi, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai are the software behemoth's first partners on the road, who along with chipmaker Nvidia form "a global alliance aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customisation and scale," according to Google's director of Android engineering Patrick Brady.

"We're working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone," Brady says. "Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers.

"And it will create new opportunities for developers to extend the variety and depth of the Android app ecosystem in new, exciting and safe ways."

The goal is to build an open platform that dovetails with Android so any apps that work on your phone can be carried over seamlessly to the screens in your car -- the car itself "will become a connected Android device", Google says.

Hopefully that will make texting while driving a thing of the past. "Working toward a common ecosystem benefits driver safety above all," reckons Audi's head of electronics Ricky Hudi.

Google is looking to hook up with more manufacturers and expand its grand auto alliance in the coming year. You can find out more at openautoalliance.net.

Audi, Honda and Hyundai are also members of Apple's rival iOS in the Car coalition, having shown interest in producing autos that can integrate with iPhones in a similar way. You'd hope cars will be compatible with more than one ecosystem, but it's early days. Apple unveiled iOS in the Car at WWDC back in June; so far it's focused on simple call, text, sat-nav and music integration using Siri.

Are you looking forward to better Android in your jam jar? Which apps do you think would work particularly well on the road? Drive home your point in the comments, or hitch a ride to our Facebook page.

 

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