Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced the Android Auto platform at Google I/O. Audi has committed itself to Android Auto in future vehicles. Audi issued a press release mentioning that the first Android Auto enabled Audis will be available starting early 2015. Android Auto will be integrated into its existing MMI in-car system.
Android is not completely taking over Audis. Audi still has a proprietary system that runs on QNX.Android Auto will not make its cars incompatible with rival smartphone platforms. Android Auto will provide a seamless link for Android mobile cars to function through the Audi MMI infotainment system. Using Android Auto, drivers will be able to access their Android device car apps using Audi MMI displays and controls optimized for safe operation on the road.
“As the leader in the emerging field of connected car technologies, Audi recognizes the importance of meeting our customers’ mobile technology needs on their terms,” stated Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics, AUDI AG. “But we should only do this through innovations, such as Android Auto, that reduce distractions and improve performance.”
After users connect an Android smartphone in a compatible Audi, drivers will see a prompt asking if they want their apps to function through the MMI touch display and controls. The graphics, audio streams, microphone input, and control interfaces will operate with Android Auto.