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Google plans future of connected car systems with Android

in-car entertainment

In a move that is likely to take on traditional in-car entertainment makers, Google has brought its Android platform to the dashboard. The company is set to give a sneak peek at its very first development at the forthcoming CES in Las Vegas.

Google has joined hands with Italian automaker FCA to bring a Chrysler 300 sedan with a hardware based on Android 7.0 Nougat. The open source platform will be available to drivers through an 8.4-inch Uconnect device.

“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” said Chris Barman, head of electrical engineering, FCA, in a joint statement.

The Uconnect system with Android Nougat operating system is touted to offer core infotainment features such as radio and comfort controls. Furthermore, the hardware would bring integration with Google Assistant, Google Maps and apps such as Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.

“This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age,” said Patrick Brady, director of Android engineering, Google.

The concept hardware featuring Nougat experience will just be an early development by Google. However, in the coming future, it is likely to get many new faces and expanded as a competitor against proprietary in-dash solutions.

Contrary to Android Auto

Previously, Google rivaled Apple by announcing its Android Auto. That was particularly designed as a smartphone projection solution, contrary to the latest development that brings the open source platform directly to the dashboard and in a standalone form.

Android Auto and the upcoming concept are expected to be the two different areas for Google to reach automobiles in the coming future. Ultimately, this would expand the open source world; from computers and smartphones to large and small cars.