Google’s Next Frontier is in the Auto Industry

Audi and Google have formed the next battleground in the Android vs. iOS world war.

A new collaborative effort between Google and Audi has been announced at the glitzy Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The two companies will be working together to develop several Android-based in car information and entertainment systems. The systems will allow both drivers and passengers access to apps and services just as they would with Android-based smartphones and tablets.

The announcement comes just seven months after Apple announced iOS in the Car. Android-based apps will run on the car’s own hardware where Apple’s platform integrates the iPhone into the car’s infotainment system. Both platforms will provide access to maps, messages and other apps designed for the commuter or traveler. Likewise, both Google and Apple are attempting to secure support from car manufacturers and other technology manufacturers.

Apple already has the support of Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, BMW, Honda, General Motors and Daimler. Some Audi models already have the ability to access Google products. The Tegra-powered entertainment and information systems was rolled out in some of its vehicles in the same year the German manufacturer started demonstrating cars that could navigate through parking lots without a driver. CES will also see the formation of an industry consortium as other companies detail collaborative efforts with other car and technology manufacturers.

Over the last six years, Ford has led the way in car infotainment and connectivity systems, with 10 million cars using the Microsoft Sync platform. In February 2013, GM announced some 2014 models would come with LTE service. LTE delivers an “enhanced suite of safety, security, diagnostic and infotainment services.” Similarly, Nokia detailed its Here Auto system, in August 2013, in the hopes of selling its infotainment platform to car manufacturers.

Details of the collaboratively created Google and Audi systems are unknown at this time but they will outline a timetable over the next four or five years. Google’s newest battleground for Android and iOS will be among the biggest competitors in the automotive industry.


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