A TV OS Is the Latest Player in a World Where Android Auto and CarPlay Are Kings

The number of tech companies betting big on the automotive sector keeps expanding, and LG is the next big name to move from hardware to software behind the wheel.
Gensesis cars to pioneer webOS adoption 11 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/LG
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LG, which is already supplying components to several high-profile carmakers, has partnered with Hyundai to install webOS in future Genesis models.

If webOS sounds familiar, it's because it powers your TV. The operating system is installed on LG's smart TVs, allowing for apps like YouTube, Netflix, and HBO Max to run on the device. The parent company is aiming for a similar approach with a car sibling.

webOS for Automotive is centered around streaming services and media content. It's not supposed to become a fully featured operating system competing against the likes of Android Automotive, but it wants to provide passengers with something that Android Auto and CarPlay have been lacking for a long time.

LG's car operating system will offer easy access to media content on all screens in the car, though the focus in on the rear seat infotainment displays. Genesis GV80 and GV80 coupe will pioneer the adoption of webOS for Automotive, allowing vehicle occupants to watch on-demand content while traveling.

LG worked with YouTube specifically to bring the video sharing platform to webOS for Automotive, though I expect more services to become available shortly. LG offers the majority of video streaming services on smart TVs, so the company is likely already exploring ways to bring them to the vehicle experience too.

2023 Genesis G90
Photo: Genesis
The battle for the displays in the car has become fiercer later, especially as carmakers discovered they can no longer ignore the software capabilities offered to drivers. Many ceased control of the infotainment by adding Android Auto and CarPlay specifically to replace their lazy software efforts, but all are now trying to get it back and monetize it.

YouTube and on-demand media platforms are already available in the car through various platforms. Android Automotive is Google's leading effort in this regard, as it already allows drivers and passengers to watch YouTube and content on certain media streaming services when the vehicle is not in motion.

These platforms have so far remained banned on Android Auto and CarPlay, despite Google and Apple having the necessary means to block them when the car is moving. Users can still unlock these services with unofficial methods, but the tech giants believe watching videos shouldn’t be allowed due to distraction reasons.

LG is likely planning to expand the availability of webOS for Automotive to more vehicles, but the company has remained tight-lipped on its long-term strategy. The partnership with Hyundai allows it to bring the operating system to more vehicles manufactured by the brands in the group, so expect more news in this regard early next year.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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