Move over Android Auto: Android M Will Not Even Need Your Smartphone
The tech giant Google has already started working on an Android version which would be built directly into the cars in future, enabling the drivers of those vehicles to stay connected to the internet without plugging in their smartphones.
Those following the tech buzz regularly might be aware that Google wants to get Android on to vehicles now and that it is working on Android Auto, but perhaps we do not quite know what the big G has in mind. If reports from Reuters are to be believed, “Google is prepping Android M to be capable of being loaded directly onto a car, meaning that it wouldn’t require a smartphone to be connected like the current implementation of Android Auto.”
Android M, the next version of Android is expected to make its debut in 2015.
The Android M, unlike the Android Auto, will apparently be totally independent of all other devices.
The Android Auto comes with the latest version of Android and requires the drivers to plug in a smartphone into a compatible car which has a built in screen, to allow the vehicle owner to access streaming music, maps and other apps.
Though it might appear like the next logical step for them because if the Android is loaded directly into a vehicle, it should be available to the drivers all the time without them needing to check on their smartphones all the time while they are seated inside. The phone could be tucked inside a bag, have run out of battery or inside the driver’s pocket.
The new version would be a major advancement over the existing Android Auto upon which Google has been working since some time now. It will require Google to work very closely with car makers. And the major challenge here before Google will be to get the car manufacturers to agree to load Android M onto their vehicles.
Now from users’ point of view, Android directly integrated inside the vehicles would mean letting Google access vehicles’ systems like cameras and sensors. In addition to telling Google all about where you have been travelling to in your vehicle and your driving habits (average speed, time of usage, etc.). it would mean the vehicle owners logging in to Google’s services every time they turn on the ignition key whether or not they plug in their phone.
All major tech players are now venturing into smart gadgets. Smartwatches, wearables, fitness equipment, Google glass and other appliances that connect users to the internet have been around for a while now. Automobiles could be next on the cards, though the plan would face tremendous technical and business challenges.
According to U.S. Census data, an average American spends nearly 50 minutes inside his vehicle every day for commuting, which could mean a huge market for the tech company.
One of Google’s formidable rivals, Apple, has already unveiled its CarPlay software earlier this year. Not wanting to be left behind, Google also signed agreements with many vehicle manufacturers including Hyundai, General Motors Co and Nissan Motor Co, for its Open Automotive Alliance and its Android Auto product. But both of them “project” their smartphone apps onto the car’s screen, the first version of which will be on display at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
“Automakers want to keep their brand appeal and keep their differentiation,” said Mark Boyadjis, an analyst with industry research firm IHS Automotive. “Automakers don’t want to have a state of the industry where you get in any vehicle and it’s just the same experience wherever you go.”
For now, it is wait and watch!