Audi, Volvo commit to Android Auto for next generation of cars

Dive Brief:

  • Audi and Volvo will include Android Auto for navigation, streaming audio and communications as well as controlling air conditioning, sunroof, and windows, with the operating system built into each automakers’ next generation of in-cars infotainment systems, per a Google blog post.
  • Android Auto was launched three years ago and is supported by 300 car models and aftermarket stereos. People without enabled hardware in their cars can access the standalone Android Auto mobile app.
  • The Audi and Volvo systems will be previewed at Google I/O this week, and Google is also livestreaming a May 17 session about the tech partnership.

Dive Insight:

Research from last month by Strategy Analytics found that new car owners with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology are satisfied with the features provided and depend on them for the majority of their infotainment in the car. While there has been a trend toward automakers developing their own in-vehicle mobile platforms, the research suggests that for some automakers it may make more sense to integrate with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto so they can focus their resources on enhancing other car features where they have more experience. 

The Audi and Volvo news is the most recent Android Auto integration. In early January, Fiat Chrysler partnered with Google for an open-source Android-based in-car platform and Google dramatically expanded the reach of Android Auto last November with a new version of the technology that basically made it available on all cars, including older cars without dashboard displays.

Although marketers are still sorting out how exactly in-car technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay fit into mobile strategies along with what data might be made available, in car technology for infotainment is becoming entrenched in the auto industry.

Some automakers continue to pursue an open-source approach to in-vehicle connectivity. Early this year Ford and Toyota teamed up for the SmartDeviceLink Consortium, a non-profit dedicated to open-source software for automotive smartphone app development. The group’s goal is to help automakers and suppliers through a uniform standard for integrating apps and aid developers by allowing them to create one solution that can be used across all consortium participants. The group also includes Mazda Motor Corporation, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) and Suzuki Motor Corporation, as well as suppliers Elektrobit, Luxoft and Xevo.

Filed Under: Apps Mobile marketing trends Tech and platform developments
Top image credit: Google