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Audi and Volvo will use Android powered telematics in their new models

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【Summary】Google has just announced that that it will partner with Volvo and Audi on Android based, vehicle telematics systems. The embedded system will be based on Android 7.0 Nougat, and will work without requiring an Android phone present.

Original Eric Walz    May 15, 2017 12:12 PM PT
Audi and Volvo will use Android powered telematics in their new models

It's a busy week for Google. Ahead of this week's I/O developers conference in Mountain View, CA, Google has just announced that that it will partner with Volvo and Audi on Android-based, vehicle telematics systems. The embedded system will be based on Android 7.0 Nougat, and will work without requiring an Android phone present. Android is the world's most popular open source operating system.

Volvo said on Monday that the system will be available in vehicles within two years and will feature Android apps for a variety telematics based services. The partnership will enable developers to create apps for the vehicles, which can be developed by Google, Volvo or any other third party, since the Android OS is open source. These apps will work in vehicles without connecting a smartphone. Currently, a phone needs to be present to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

"Google's platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective," said Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo, in a statement.

Current Volvo models support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A spokesman for Volvo said the new system will have Apple CarPlay capability. Volvo first announced Android Auto compatibility back in December of 2016 on its S90, V90, and XC90 models.

Jon Wakefield, the managing director of Volvo Car UK, said at the time, "It's more important than ever for our customers to stay connected while on the move. Our Apple CarPlay integration was already the best in the business, and the introduction of Android Auto brings our class-leading smartphone integration to a whole new audience."

Previously, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Google demonstrated a version of FCA's award-winning Uconnect 8.4-inch connected vehicle system featuring Android. Using a Chrysler 300 sedan as a test vehicle, a demonstration of the Uconnect combined with Android was shown at this year's CES, held in January.

At that time, Google said this automotive version of Android would still be open source, meaning it will still work with Apple's CarPlay. Patrick Brady, vice president of engineering for Android, told Bloomberg News that Apple's CarPlay would still be able to run on top of this new embedded Android system.

audi-q8-concept-2017-detroit-auto-show_100588134_m.jpg

Volvo and Audi will customize Google's Android based OS to power the vehicle's main touchscreen telematic displays and other vehicle functions. Android will control vehicle functions including climate control, power windows, seat position, and mirrors. Volvo says it plans to launch its Android on new models within two years. Meanwhile, Audi plans to introduce its version of Android in the new Audi Q8 Sport concept.


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