Android Auto is developing into Google I / O 2017 to a complete operating system for vehicles. Audi, Google and Volvo announced a deeper integration of the Android operating system into the car one day before the developer conference in Mountain View. With the Q8 Sport Concept, Audi will be showing a concept car.
In the Android and Android computer tests a year and a half ago, there were first signs that Android Auto will be able to access deeper functions of the vehicle in the future. In the developer options, for example, you could find menu items for the next service, emergency assistance, tire pressure or level of the mop. These hidden functions have not been implemented so far, but this will change to Google I/O, which will start tomorrow.
Android without Android car
Google will present Android to the I/O as an operating system for vehicles regardless of the smartphone, as evidenced by announcements from Audi, Google and Volvo. Android is no longer projected as Android car from the smartphone to one of the vehicle displays, but runs independently on the hardware of the car.
Audi will show Android in the Q8 Sport Concept. Today announced features include Spotify, Google Play Music, and Google Assistant. The display of the services takes place on the central MMI touch-screen on the dashboard. Android for cars can now also control a second display. Android car is limited to a display in the vehicle. The Virtual Cockpit in front of the driver can also be used to display information from Android.
The Google operating system is fully integrated into the Audi brand-specific infotainment system, so Audi’s UI design is retained and Google Maps can be displayed in the Virtual Cockpit in addition to the usual navigation via HERE’s database. A new center for notifications is to arrange incoming messages and calls clearly in the cockpit. Google brings thereby a special strength of the smartphone operating system in the passenger car.
Shorter update cycles and more apps
With the use of Android in the car, Audi promises shorter update cycles and a significantly greater variety of services as well as a broad international availability of applications. New apps should be added to the vehicle as additional Connect services as long as the requirements of Audi and Google are met. Unlike the Play Store, Google atindest at Android Auto performs a manual check of each app before the release.
Volvo sees flexibility for developers
Volvo is talking about a further development of the Android operating system, which will be fully integrated into the vehicle, providing access to numerous apps and services. The Swedes also see the flexibility for developers as an advantage by switching to Google, and according to the car manufacturer, the user experience can be improved by additional personalization options.
Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Research & Development at the Volvo Car Group, sees Android as a major base in the car, which Volvo could build with its familiar user interface. In addition, the company will offer hundreds of popular apps and the best integrated experience.
New Volvo models with Android as an operating system are to be launched within the next two years. For the I / O, Volvo will present the current state of development in an XC60. In an existing Volvo model, an update of the Sensus navigation system is to integrate the search for the surroundings with Google Local Search, in order to steer points of interest (POI) in the environment.