Forget About Android Auto: Google Says Android Automotive Ready for Prime Time

Android Automotive in Polestar 2 1 photo
Photo: Polestar
While the Android Auto app ecosystem is growing, with more developers bringing their software to the platform, Google seems to be fully committed to also making Android Automotive a key part of its automotive expansion in the long term.
And this week at I/O 2021, the Mountain View-based search giant announced that the adoption of Android Automotive in the car world is projected to skyrocket this year, as the platform would make its debut on more than 10 car models by the end of 2021.

Without a doubt, this is big news for Google and the future of Android Automotive, as the OS has until now been installed only on a couple of models from Polestar and Volvo.

But Google says Android Automotive would land in models from General Motors, Renault, and Volvo projected to go live in the coming months, so sooner or later, more carmakers would end up deploying this operating system in their cars.

As compared to Android Auto, which requires a smartphone to run, Android Automotive is pre-loaded software that comes bundled with the car’s infotainment system and provides deeper integration of Google services.

Furthermore, apps like Google Maps come with capabilities specifically tailored to each car, so for example, the application can read data like EV range and battery level to provide additional information such as the estimated battery when drivers arrive at a defined destination.

Google gives carmakers the freedom to customize the looks of Android Automotive as they wish, so while at the first glance it may look like two models run different operating systems, they might be powered by the same platform but with a different skin.

For example, GM has already confirmed that its new Hummer EV would come with Android Automotive, and a video released by the company showed the platform with a completely new more rugged UI that’s totally different from the one we knew from Polestar.

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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