US: Audi to partner with Google on infotainment operating system - reports

By Dave Leggett | 2 January 2014

Audi could be set to announce that it will partner with Google to develop Android-based infotainment software for its cars. A number of reports have suggested that an announcement could be made at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.

The aim is to allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps and services that are similar to those available on Android powered cell phones.

In June last year, Apple announced a partnership with nine OEMs to develop systems that would allow drivers to use their iOS devices through the car's display. The Apple approach works off the mobile device, but Google's plans appear to be based on building Google's Android operating system into the car.

Analysts note that carmakers are becoming much more interested in making the human machine interface (HMI) of the car more like that of the cell phone, to both aid ease of use and facilitate the phone-car integration of connectivity applications. Audi's head of product strategy, Filip Brabec, recently told the Wall Street Journal that new vehicles will inevitably need an operating system to meet customers growing demand for apps.