A new report out of the Wall Street Journal indicates Audi and Google will jointly announce a new in-car entertainment and information system at next weeks Consumer Electronics Show. The aim of both companies is to “allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps, and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones.”
“The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Inc. who specializes in advanced in-car electronics. “Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle.”
As Apple makes in-roads with companies like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Honda to integrate iOS into car makers dashboard controls, Google is clearly not ceding the space to Apple just yet. Car makers continue to look at adding new technologies to their vehicles and Android as a free operating system is an option gaining more and more attention in the automobile space. Tesla recently announced that it would switch its in-car browser to Chrome and consider moving the operating system to Android instead of the Linux port currently running in the company’s vehicles.
“We are starting to see an uptick of Android use in car makers, starting in Asia and working its way across the world,” said Rajeev Kumar, a world-wide director of business development for Freescale Semiconductor Inc., a large supplier of chips used in cars.
Google and Audi declined to comment on the report.