Open Automotive Alliance

Open Automotive Alliance

Mobile


When Google launched Android for phones back in 2007, one of its first moves was to bring together a group of interested mobile players under the Open Handset Alliance moniker.

Now, they are doing something similar for cars. Overnight, the company announced the Open Automotive Alliance — an effort designed to bring Android to cars as early as this year. Members include Google, chipmaker Nvidia and automakers Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai.

Until now, Google’s in-car efforts have consisted of a rather small venture to get Google Maps in some vehicles.

“Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it every day,” Google Senior VP Sundar Pichai said in a statement. “The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road.”

What was already shaping up to be a significant show for the auto industry now has the potential to be a watershed moment for in-car technology.

On Sunday night, Nvidia announced that a version of its new Tegra K1 chip is designed for cars and also detailed an effort to create a new kind of customizable digital dashboard. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also said the company has design wins with more than 20 automakers covering 100 new models, though he didn’t name any of the newly won customers.

GM said it plans to pair the Android work with its next-generation OnStar effort that includes 4G LTE from AT&T, while Audi is expected to talk about its plans at a keynote speech later on Monday.

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