Technology continues to become more and more a part of our cars as evidenced by rumors of a Google and Audi partnership that would put Android-based software in your car.
The news isn’t official, but it’s likely to be announced at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Google and Audi already have a working relationship with Google providing data services and maps for Audi’s Multi Media Interface.
This attempt to get Android into Audi vehicles follows Apple’s announcement of iOS in the Car back in June at the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference. Their program involves a much larger slate of manufacturers with Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevy, Infiniti, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Acura, Opel and Jaguar all on board.
Apple hasn’t revealed much of the details on their system since that first announcement and it’s probably going to be a similar story for Google and Audi at CES. They all want you to know they’re working on what they promise to be fantastically integrated systems, but no one is yet willing to lay it all out for public inspection.
The idea of having instant access to all the things you normally check on your phone sounds appealing, but there’s a very careful balance that needs to be struck between providing that information or creating information overload while you’re behind the wheel.
Distracted driving continues to be a huge issue with stories popping up near daily about accidents caused by people texting, talking or otherwise using their phones while they drive. Some reports even say that the whole handsfree movement doesn’t make us safer because it’s not just a matter of having our eyes on the road, but our minds there, too.
It’s also questionable just how much having a specific operating system in a car will make you buy that brand. Will Android users flock to Audi? Will Apple users shun them? A large part of that decision will likely come from just how well they manage the integration. If they can make it clean and seamless, then Google might just sway some Android users in Audi’s direction.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.