connected cars
Open Automotive Alliance

Google Announces Open Automotive Alliance To Drive Android Into Connected Cars

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Google is hoping to do it again with Android — and cars. The 2007 Open Handset Alliance helped drive Google’s mobile OS from new-kid-on-the-block to dominant force in smartphones. Today, the company has announced the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) to attempt the same trick but for cars — persuading a small coterie of car makers and others to join it as founder members of the OAA.

As well as Mountain View itself, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have put their names to the OAA, which is described as “a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014″. The OAA will be focused on establishing a common platform for Android integration with connected cars.

Google notes:

We’re working with our partners to enable better integration between cars and Android devices in order to create a safer, car optimized experience. We’re also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

As with Android, Google is a little late to the party here: back in June Apple confirmed it is working with car makers on an initiative called ‘iOS in The Car’ to enable iDevice owners to use their gadgets to do stuff like play music, display maps, dictate messages in their cars, starting in 2014.

Car makers signed up to Apple’s earlier automotive initiative are a little more plentiful and include Honda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevy, Infiniti, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Jaguar, and Acura. (So Honda and Hyundai are playing in both camps.)

The first cars with “Android integration” are expected by the end of this year, according to the OAA’s inaugural release (it does not say which car maker is expected to be first).