Automakers, including Hyundai, Back Android Platform for Cars
The first would be the ability of disparate vehicles to "talk" with each other thanks to the standardized system. It also means outside components, like traffic signals, are going to be able to talk with more cars more quickly.
According to a press release issued by Audi, "Extending the success of the Android ecosystem, which has seen more than one billion devices activated to date, a coalition of auto and technology companies announced today a new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car." The announcement comes one day before the kickoff to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.
“We are excited to announce that our customers using Android will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles,” said Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group. “By introducing the latest IT technologies safely and securely throughout our full range of vehicles, we continually strive to provide the highest levels of convenience and to enhance the in-vehicle experience.”
The OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people’s lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way.
According to the OAA website, "Drivers are already trying to access mobile services while they're on the road, but in ways that aren't always seamless or safe. By working with automakers to deliver these experiences in ways that make sense for the automobile, drivers can get what they're looking for without disrupting their focus on the road."
“The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation,” said Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at AUDI AG. “Working toward a common ecosystems benefits driver safety above all.”
”Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” said Mary Chan, president of General Motors’ Global Connected Consumer unit. “We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.”
Of course safety has to be a concern the more technology is poured into cars. OAA claims to be on top of it. "Yes, we have been in contact with government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Our goal is to build an experience that helps drivers get what they're looking for without disrupting their focus on the road," its website said in the FAQ section.
"Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it every day," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. "The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road."
"We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers," said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. "The Honda team is looking forward to collaborating with Google and all OAA members to help advance the safety, value and ease of use of connected-car technologies."
"The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA. "The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster."
OAA members share a vision for the connected car, and bringing these open standards of innovation to the market will help extend people’s mobile experience seamlessly to another platform they already know and love. Timing from each automaker will vary, but you can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year.