Google’s Android operating system is known for powering many smartphones, tablets and video game consoles. In the near future, Android will also be used to power the infotainment systems inside of cars, starting with Audi. Google and Audi are expected to make a partnership announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, according to sources with The Wall Street Journal.
Audi vehicle drivers and passengers would be able to use the infotainment system to access music, navigation, and apps that are currently available in Android smartphones. Google and Audi are working with several technology companies on the project, such as Nvidia Corporation.
Who will Google compete against in the connected car market? By integrating Android into infotainment systems, Google is directly challenging Apple’s iOS in the Car service. Apple unveiled iOS in the Car at the Worldwide Developers Conference this past June. Apple’s iOS in the Car features include an Eyes-Free Siri mode, satellite navigation, music control, iMessage functionality and telephone commands. Apple has partnerships lined up with many major auto manufacturers for iOS in the Car so Google will need to become intensely competitive in the connected car market.
Audi is known for investing heavily in connected car initiatives. Last month, the company reported that 4G LTE connectivity will be offered in the 2015 A3 sedan, which is seven times faster than their current 3G connectivity. Audi is also considering shared data plans between smartphones and cars to support this type of connection. Audi is working with both Google and Apple on infotainment projects.
IHS Automotive forecasted revenues for connected cars over the next 10 years to be worth $50 billion from in-vehicle mobile ads, $500 billion from maintenance and $5 billion from service subscriptions. Connected car technology could even save lives through the use of e-calling and real-time alerts. The connected car market is an exciting and lucrative space that is definitely worth keeping an eye on.