Google announces Android Auto, its first car infotainment system

google-io-android-auto-4The past two days have been buzzing with new announcements, which is not so surprising given that Google I/O kicked off yesterday. Most of these announcements are related Android, which includes Google’s first Android Car infotainment system called as Android Auto.

Android Auto is everything that we predicted based on rumors and works a lot like the recently released Apple CarPlay system. It relies on your Android smartphone for working with your car’s dashboard. So, a Google Auto on a powerful smartphone would definitely perform better than a less powerful one.

We kind of guessed that Google was developing such a platform when the company along with a handful of automakers announced the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) back in January. The basic vision of the alliance was to accelerate the speed of innovation in cars.

According to their website, “The members of the Open Automotive Alliance share a vision for the connected car, and are committed to collaborating around a common platform to make this vision a reality.”

The idea of a connected car with the presence of Google naturally meant Android or Chrome OS was going to end up in a car. Android being the world’s largest mobile ecosystem at the moment, one could easily predict that upcoming cars would come with Android built-in.

However, as mentioned above, the Android powered Auto is not a standalone system. It relies on the smartphone for its functions. But that doesn’t restrict the amount of features on the new system.

Google has focused on voice control in this new system as the company believes its one of the key features which will reduce the number of accidents on road due to distractions. You can control Google Maps, messages and even music using your voice and the initial reviews state that the voice recognition works quite well.

The good news is that the driver can send text messages even when he’s using Google Maps. Which means the system allows multi-tasking, at least to some extent.

Google will soon release Android Auto SDK along with audio and messaging APIs so that developers can take full advantage of the system as soon as possible. The company has already signed up developers like Spotify, Pandora, MLB.TV, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts.

Android Auto is releasing sometime before the end of this year. Most of the famous car makers in the country have signed up to integrate it, so you should see many new cars coming with this system before 2014.

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About the author

Joel is an experienced blogger who covers all kinds of news relating to tech. He is a huge fan of Android and can be seen playing around with his phone in his spare time.