As expected, a coalition of automaker and technology companies announced at the CES show in Las Vegas a new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to the car.
Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders who’ll start bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA plans a common platform that will drive innovation and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive.
“Today, millions of people already bring Android phones and tablets into their cars, but it’s not yet a driving-optimised experience. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring your favorite apps and music with you, and use them safely with your car’s built-in controls and in-dash display?” said Patrick Brady, director, Android Engineering, in a blog.
The OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customisation and scale. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring new technology to their vehicles and create new opportunities for developers to deliver new apps.
“The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation,” said Ricky Hudi, head of electrics/electronics development at Audi. “Working toward a common ecosystems benefits driver safety above all.”
“Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” said Mary Chan, president of General Motors’ global connected consumer unit.
“We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future vehicles.”
“Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday,” said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome and apps at Google. “The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road.”
“We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers,” said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D.
“Through the OAA, our customers using Android devices will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles.” said Woong-Chul Yang, vice chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group.
“The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA. “The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster.”
Timing at each automaker will vary but the first cars with Android integration should be launched by the end of this year. The OAA is inviting other automotive technology companies to join the alliance.