Better known for its use in smartphones and tablets, Google's Android operating system could soon power entire infotainment systems.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, technology companies Panasonic, Qualcomm and Google have taken the concept of Android Auto one step further, presenting a standalone infotainment system running Android 7.0 Nougat software.
The system also includes an LTE modem and the hardware necessary to make it operational in a vehicle.
Automotive manufacturers would be able to purchase this system, then tailor its appearance and features as desired, similar to how various phone companies like Samsung and LG have different interfaces but still run the same version of Android.
Thanks to the nature of Google's software, the systems wouldn't become outdated after a couple of years like in-house infotainment systems, with buyers able to install updates and add features over time.
A demonstration of the system at CES will also show how the unit will be able to control Android-compatible apps along with in-vehicle systems like climate control.
Autoblog reports the system also has the ability to process video and support multiple screens, which could allow each passenger an independent screen to stream media or browse the internet.
This latest reveal follows Google's unveiling of a Maserati Ghibli last May (Top and Below) that utilises Android software for its entire infotainment and in-car information systems – including a 15-inch central screen, digital instrument cluster and climate controls exclusively powered by Android.
If these new in-car systems are a sign of what's to come, we could soon see a battle of iOS versus Android in our cars and our smartphones in the not-too-distant future – that's if Apple's 'Titan' project ever makes it to market.
Would you buy a car with an infotainment system running Android software? Let us know in the comments below
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