In-car entertainment systems are known to be subpar compared to the smartphone in your pocket. Not only are they often slower and more poorly designed, but they’re far more expensive too. Google is looking to change that with Android Auto, the companies newly announced in-car system that will rely on your phone.
This system is based on Google Now, implementing heavy voice control to keep your hands operating the vehicle. It’ll have navigation, Google Play Music, messaging, and as you’d expect from Android, third party support. A few companies like Spotify, Pandora, and MLB.TV are already on board with Android Auto.
Cars with this system should be coming sometime early next year, though no brands were announced. But thanks to the Open Automotive Alliance, Google already has quite a few partners lined up. And the faster your smartphone is, the better the experience will be in your car. Since this uses no processing hardware of its own, and relies on your phone to operate, the experience will be based directly on how nice your phone is.
As a car guy, I’m really excited to see what Google can do with Android Auto. Car entertainment systems are never good enough, and my phone is already docked in my car all the time, so why not sync it to the car’s system? Hopefully there will be 3rd party car audio decks with Android Auto support so older cars can get in on the fun.