Forget Android Auto, Volvo and Audi want its upcoming cars to run Android as their base operating system.
Google has announced a partnership with Volvo and Audi that will bring it one step closer to making Android an operating system for cars. Volvo and Audi plan to leverage Google's software in their car's infotainment units so you can access a more seamless, full-featured experience that includes Android apps and Google services. In other words, you won't need an Android phone to interact with the cars.
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The carmakers essentially plan to build new infotainment systems using Android 7.0 Nougat. They will tweak Google’s OS and use it to power the touchscreen displays and digital dashboards in future vehicles. And similar to Android Auto, they will offer access to services like Google Assistant as well as Android apps. Android will even control functions like air conditioning, the sunroof, and the windows.
Keep in mind Google has been rumoured to be working with carmakers on this since at least 2014, with reports claiming Google wanted to turn Android Auto into something that didn't need a smartphone and that could control a car's system. We'll likely hear more from Google about this at Google I/O 2017 this week. Check out Pocket-lint's I/O guide for more details on what Google could announce.
Google has already said a preview of Volvo and Audio's new Android-based car systems will be on display at its developers conference. Volvo will demo its version on the Volvo XC60 concept, while Audi will demo its version on the Audi Q8 Sport concept.
Volvo also said it plans to launch Android-based cars within two years.