How Google plans to invade your car
GOOGLE is one step closer to global technology domination.
The techno titan is partnering with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance to bring its Android technology to cars.
This means that the clunky infotainment set-ups used by the three-make alliance will be tossed out in favour of the widely used and functional Android operating system.
"Our partnership with Google will offer owners of our vehicles rich user experiences that are currently available only outside the vehicle or, to a limited extent, by connecting an Android device to supported vehicles," says Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance executive Hadi Zablit.
Drivers will get access to the Google world, with maps, assistant and automotive compatible apps from Google Play Store.
Assistant is among the main reasons the alliance is integrating the Android tech.
"In the future, the Google Assistant, which employs Google's leading AI technology, can become the main way customers interact with their vehicles, hands-free," says Kal Mos, a connected vehicles specialist for the alliance.
"With Google Maps and the Google Assistant embedded in (our infotainment, our customers will have some of the most advanced AI based applications at their fingertips.
"And with in-vehicle access to the Google Play Store, our customers will enjoy an open and secure ecosystem of Android apps engineered for vehicles."
Google's cloud-based services are also of particular interest to the makers. All three brands want a secure cloud-based platform to integrate data management and infotainment tech and to enable over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics.
The move to integrate Android tech will spell the end of the Android Auto smartphone mirroring that companies currently use to sync compatible phones.
The alliance says the integrated tech will be compatible with other devices including Apple products.
Android technology will be integrated into the alliance brands' cars in 2021.
Other makers are focusing on integrating artificial intelligence smart assistants into vehicles.
Audi recently revealed that Amazon's Alexa smart assistant will be part of the integrated infotainment tech for the new e-tron electric SUV.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will feature its MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment tech that learns a driver's habits and can be controlled via voice commands. Users say "Hey Mercedes", then requesting which car function they would like controlled such as where they would like to go, in-car temperature or to call a particular phone contact.