Google is working on a version of its in-car operating
system which will require no smartphone to operate
and launch in a year’s time, according to reports.
The company has long suggested that its Android
Auto software, which is designed to control various
functions within a car such as entertainment,
navigation and settings, will eventually be built-in
directly to the car and operate regardless of the
presence of a smartphone. But reports from Reuters
claims that this is now scheduled for release in
around a year with the “Android M” update.
Android Auto is an attempt to push a variant of the
operating system already popular in smartphones
and tablets as the default platform for in-car
computers. But it faces stiff competition in the
market from Apple.
Many manufacturers are already signed up with one,
other or both of the companies to integrate such
systems into their cars.
Early this year Google teamed up with Audi, Honda
and GM to create the Open Automotive Alliance and
push the open-source Android operating system into
every new car to make driving “safer, easier and
The search giant hoped that the OAA will make
Android a common standard for in-car computers,
bringing the 700,000 existing apps to dashboards.
The Alliance was aimed at “accelerating auto
innovation with an approach that offers openness,
customization and scale”.
The move closely resembled Google’s creation of the
Open Handset Alliance in 2007 to promote Android
as a smartphone operating system. The Alliance
requires members to agree that they will not produce
devices that run incompatible forks of Android,
keeping the OS on a focused development track.
Apple has already shown its hand in this market and
announced deals with BMW, Daimler, Mercedes and
Honda to produce smart dashboards featuring iOS,
the same operating system used by iPads and
This ties-in with its Siri application which can dictate
emails or text messages and carry out commands via
voice control, a feature which could prove very useful
Apple has taken an approach which sees the iPhone
as the brains of the system, which then connects with
speakers, microphones and screen inside the car.
Google is now reportedly taking a different approach
and embedding electronics into the car which will run
Car electronics are becoming increasingly
sophisticated and well-connected. GM’s chief
executive recently announced that all models from
2015 onwards with 4G chips to provide constant
internet connections without the need for a