Google and FCA Work to Make in-Car Infotainment System Powered by Android

Chrysler 300 Uconnect 5 photos
Photo: FCA
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In case you missed it, the battle for supremacy in the smartphones market is moving to the automotive segment. Apple and Google are drooling over the ever-growing importance of technology in our cars, and if there ever were two companies who know a thing or two about mobile devices, then these are definitely it.
Up until now, the two have limited themselves to things such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto - mere ways of turning the vehicle's display into an extension of the smartphone, with all the computing done inside the handheld device.

At this year's CES show, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google are introducing a Uconnect system concept powered by Android, Google's open-source smartphone operating system. It may not be the first time the Android gets converted into a car infotainment OS, but this time it's done under Google's own personal supervision.

Just like it does now with smartphone developers, Google would like to sell its OS to carmakers in the future. On the other hand, car brands would have to invest incredible sums of money and effort to catch up with Google, so working together would make sense for both parties.

This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” says Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”

Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way,” said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. “This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.

The pioneering software runs on an 8.4-inch Uconnect system inside a Chrysler 300 sedan and can be seen between January 5 and 8 at the CES, in Las Vegas.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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