Android has already appeared on a pretty wide variety of hardware, including phones, tablets, game consoles and headgear. Now it looks like the little Bugdroid will soon try to conquer another major piece of gear: the car.
Google today launched the Open Automotive Alliance, an initiative that it has formed in cooperation with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia in order to make using Android and its apps in the car easier and safer. The company explains that it’s working to find new ways to integrate Android hardware into cars and also to improve the operating system itself to make driving with the green robot as your passenger a better all-around experience. Details on the project are pretty light so far, but Google does talk about being able to “bring your favorite apps and music with you” and use them with the controls and display that are already built into your car.
As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, people are increasingly relying on those devices to entertain them and to help them find their way. Many folks use their mobile devices to play music, watch videos and navigate to destinations while in the car, but doing so isn’t always a super-safe experience. That’s where better in-car integration comes in, making it safer to access apps and navigation while behind the wheel. It’ll be interesting to see how Google and its partners tweak Android for the automobile and how developers take advantage of this improved in-car support, and the good news is that we don’t have to wait long to see that happen; the Big G expects the first cars with Android integration to appear by the end of 2014.