Technology giant Google has taken a leap beyond its Android Auto smartphone integration system, with the unveiling of a complete in-car infotainment system running its Android operating platform.
At its latest I/O developers conference, Google presented a Maserati Ghibli running a next-generation version of the Android platform.
Featuring a 15-inch screen and a fully digital instrument cluster, the vehicle’s entire infotainment and driver information system is exclusively powered by Android, right down to the climate controls.
Both screens act like the familiar Android tablets available today, featuring phone, messaging and music applications, along with a Google Maps navigation system.
The operating system running in the Ghibli is believed to be an iteration of Google’s upcoming Android software update, referred to currently as Android N.
Google’s argument for creating this new system is that auto makers will no longer have to develop their own systems for infotainment, climate control and connectivity, which reduces costs and complexity.
The company also pointed out that having a common operating system in all vehicles allows for developments in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, which will be a key factor in the uptake of fully-autonomous cars - another area of the automotive space that Google is working hard in.
This isn’t the first time an auto manufacturer has consulted a major player in the technology industry to develop a new infotainment system. Ford teamed up with Microsoft as early as 2007 to create its Sync infotainment software, and Aston Martin is also developing a new infotainment system with Chinese entertainment company LeTV, which could debut in a later update to its new DB11 supercar.
On the other hand, some car makers have been cautious in handing over control to another company for its infotainment system, Toyota, for example, recently snubbed both Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay integration systems for its upcoming app-based infotainment system.
What do you think about an Android- or iOS-based infotainment system? Let us know in the comments below
Video via Phandroid.com