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Google's auto ambition will reportedly bring Android M straight to the dash

In the next version of Android, Google could potentially sideline Android Auto in favor of putting the entire Android OS into cars. Unlike Android Auto, Android M would be built directly into the car's infotainment and navigation system and would not require the driver to plug in a smartphone.

The move would allow Google to power the car's infotainment and navigation features as well as collect car data. Reuters reported on Google's unannounced Android in the car plans citing unnamed sources:

Direct integration into cars ensures that drivers will use Google's services every time they turn on the ignition, without having to plug in the phone. It could allow Google to make more use of a car's camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections that come with some newer car models.

To launch, Google would need to convince auto-makers to install Android M into the dash.

Source: Reuters

51 Comments
  • What's the downside for the carmaker here? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Control.
  • iPhone snobs Nexus 4
  • Skynet Posted via the Galaxy Note 4
  • malware, stability, advertisements, being sold to advertisers, etc....
  • Your mom?
  • Over under on how many decades before we see android in an car? This sounds great, but auto makers are notorious for being slow to change or adapt. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm only ok with built in Android if:
    1. It can use my phone's data package and i don't have to get another cell contract.
    2. It's modular/upgradable, so that i know it will have the latest and greatest Android version and apps 15-20 years from now. While I might not own the car 10 years from now, i'm concerned about resale value of a car with an entertainment system that has a 5+yr old OS. It'd be like buying a used car this year with Android Cupcake. Lame, i don't want that.
  • Over thinking the entire thing dude Nexus 4
  • He isn't really though... you're talking about buying a car, not a phone. Cars aren't cheap. Hell, the COLOR of a car can impact resale, so this could too.
  • "i'm concerned about resale value of a car" This is the NUMBER ONE concern for the companies making car infotainment systems today. Too many crappy systems have been sold that are completely impossible to upgrade and that's not a value-add for the buyer. Google Play Services has been a gigantic leap forward in trying to solve this problem because you don't need to upgrade the entire OS to get the new features.
  • very few auto systems that have came out so far have ever been updatable to newer generations, so at a minimum, it would be no worse than what's offered today... also as nothing has remained the same in car electronics for 20+ years... I'm sure you can kiss any chance of it being able to stay current that long of a time good by... sure it may still work, but expecting it to keep up is just crazy! 20 years ago, most phones had cords...
    20 years ago, the computers in our houses were not as powerful as our phones are...
    20 years ago, a smart watch just had a calculator built on to it anybody buying a used car shouldn't really be expecting the newest, latest and greatest technology... if they didn't want a 5+ year OS, then they should be buying a brand new car... if you were to go and buy a used 5 year old phone, you would be crazy to expect it to support the newest software (then again, you probably crazy for buying a 5 year old phone)
  • This Really depends on how this is designed. If they make a dash into a "tablet" that can be swapped in and out if the use wants to make any major updates that can make a big change. I also think that car manufacturers should do something that lets people choose between what operating system they need. If these cars are locked into a specific OS from the start its going to be a really terrible experience if your used to something else, or if you decide to switch.
  • What worries me is that the auto development cycle is so completely different from the consumer tech cycle. By the time M is actually preinstalled in any cars, we'll have moved on to O or P. It may still work, but it will make fragmentation in the phone space seem quaint.
  • It will never be outdated.. It's running basic functions of the car. That's it. Added benefits of apps and Google maps navigation. Nexus 4
  • Why would Google decide to leave it to the auto makers? I'm thinking that Google would want positive control on this just like Android Wear. Google worries about updates as well as backwards compatibility.
  • To be able to actually get any real numbers in head units installed, they need to be installed from the factory. The post-installed head units make up for a very small fraction of installed units. Auto manufacturers make deals with companies factory install units. The scenario is more like that Google will partner with an existing company that provides head units and leverage their capabilities to create a new product.
  • NO NO NO NO NO.. The problem of building it directly in that its obsolete well before the car is. having it basically be a external screen allows for car owners to buy new phone every few years and add new stuff!
  • They need to come up with a hybrid plug and play solution that you can plug in the latest greatest module to get the updated OS and app compatibility. Until then I agree with the Android Auto model as I can leverage my modern device even if my truck is a few years old. They just need to include wireless charging and wireless link...
  • The Android lover in me is all for this. The practical side of me sees this as anything ranging from nothing an auto manufacturer would ever seriously consider to an outright bad idea.
  • There's already manufacturers on board. Plus Ford already uses Microsoft software. Automakers will line up for something new, special, compatible with nearly everything Nexus 4
  • What's your source? The attached article says nothing about anyone being on board. It's mostly rumor. And yes, Ford uses Microsoft software. Or did until their announcement earlier this week that they're switching to BlackBerry's QNX. But that's different from saying it runs Windows. This article specified Android. Carmakers don't react the way you think. They're slow, and VERY reticent to hand over control to anyone else. Ford Sync took years to get to anything good, and it was a battle with Ford maintaining as much control as possible. Few people ever knew it was made by Microsoft. That's exactly what automakers prefer. They've already had enough trouble with giving up the entire screen to Android Auto and CarPlay. This would be an even bigger step.
  • Hasn't every Ford Sync car said something like "Sync, by Microsoft" right on the dash? My 2012 and 2013 Fords have it. And at launch I though it was a big deal it had Microsoft, it added legitimacy to it (even though it still sucked). Posted via the Android Central App
  • Dunno, I don't own one. But as a consumer who views Ford's advertising, I haven't heard them mention Microsoft in years. In the beginning it was Microsoft Sync, then they rebranded to Ford Sync and it's all I've seen them mention since.
  • http://www.android.com/auto/ Scroll down toward the bottom to see the list of automakers on board with Android Auto.
  • Which has nothing to do with this article. This article is about Android M being made to run directly on cars. Android Auto, which is described quite explicitly, is the project for allowing your Lollipop phone to cast its screen to your car via a special UI. Entirely different, well known since early this year, and with plenty of partners, which are listed in that link. No connection to the subject of this article.
  • "Few people ever knew it was made by Microsoft. That's exactly what automakers prefer." I guess those would be the people who are bad with words... last I checked all the Ford cars I work on have a big shiny badge right in the center of the console or around the infotainment system that says "SYNC powered by Microsoft". right from day one... they are not trying to hide anything. the reason it takes so long for anything to come out from the manufacturer is testing, testing, and testing. they are putting this stuff into cars that they know are going to be around for a quarter of a million miles or more. they want to make sure it should last and most important, is safe.
  • Few people OWN one, either. I'm speaking at least from the perspective of marketing. And that latter point is one reason, of many, that this wouldn't be rushed out. It's also not the only reason they'd have very little interest in it, at least in the way it's been described. My core point remains: automakers don't want to hand this level of control and branding over to someone else.
  • I think the thought here is that regardless whether an infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto, Car Play, or both there still needs to be a default system built in for those that might have different phones or don't own smartphones. They might be trying to sell the auto manufacturers on a default system so they don't need to develop their own.
  • Missing what this is completely Nexus 4
  • Reports that Google was already working on Android m before the developer preview got its second update leads me to believe that android m is Andriod motor and not the successor to L as in the device os. What do I know but makes for good speculation and speculation is fun for some ;) Next-us
  • This will fail with the automakers. They won't give up complete control to Google Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes please! CUE is frustrating
  • O all the more data Google will have collected about an individual...
  • In the end it will always come down to which company's OS has the lowest bid. Plus how well the winning company will be able to provide software and support down the road ahead. I'm sure the auto maker's themselves can't or won't invest the time and money to develop "in house". It probably makes more sense on their end to sub this out to companies who can deliver a total package. From the DeathStar using my rooted LG G2
  • The problem is a lot of radios control more than just music. That's the control companies like Delphi pushed so aftermarket head units were all but impossible to put in. Delphi is no more, but look at new cars, or even you tube videos of custom installs, they are not that easy. If car companies started making the radio dumb again, then this would be great...ish. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Custom ROM and root my car please
  • How about just getting Android Auto available in aftermarket head units
  • All I need is a big touchscreen console that works like a Chromecast screen mirroring key auto functions Posted via the Android Central App
  • Clearly Google is trying to position itself for the long term future. I could see their goal being self driving cars that are connected to the internet and updating street view in near real time. There goes what little privacy is left! Posted via Android Central App
  • Loved the idea of this until I saw "collect data"... Posted via the Android Central App
  • this is the best part... google doesn't give two shits that your car has been parked at some seedy rent by the hour motel all afternoon while your wife thinks you're at work... however when cars miles down the road see that there are tons of cars up ahead stopped instead of moving at freeway speeds, and it can tell you to take a different route that gets you home much quicker, than you win!. as an added benefit, then when enough cars reroute themselves it can take some of the burden off of the traffic problem making it better for anybody that doesn't have Googs helping you out, we all win. also its beneficial, when you search for a restaurant or gas station, if the car tells google where you are so it can tell you whats close so its not telling you about the gas station clear on the other side of town.
  • No but the wife might do if she has access to your location history ;)
    That said she can always do that anyway through the phone ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sounds great Posted via Android Central App
  • I really want android auto but I'm not gonna buy a new car just for it. Any news on aftermarket units? Is it possible for aftermarket units to use built in Bluetooth microphones? Posted via Android Central App
  • This could be a good move for car makers, because the big problem they have is getting features like Nav to work when a user doesn't have a capable phone via google or apple. However, the only way google can pull this off is if they create a layer to use apples car system which is just a screen display trick anyways. My only complaint with the existing solution was that I had to plug my phone in every time to use it, which i feel is sloppy. There is also a concern of how the car will get on the internet. If you plug in your phone, its a no brainer, your using your phones data, however in this solution i am sure carriers and car manufactures will see this as a seperate device and want to charge you some monthly fee.
  • I don't see Google scrapping Android Auto. However, I could see them also launching a system built for independent use, but getting that to catch on with auto manufacturers is going to be tough. If they allowed the manufacturers to add custom brand software that could work, but they have to be careful. Launching something similar to nexus or android one where Google can still push updates out easily and manufacturers/carriers can add their bloatware stuff would be the best course of action. Android manufacturers launching their own skins would make for a whole new "update" problem. Cars are kept for a number of years, and not getting an update could really be problematic. However, since Android is open source, manufacturers can easily grab the code and manipulate it the way they want, so Google supporting those who desire to use Android for their in car infotainment OS is a good thing. The only downside to Android Auto is the requirement for an Android phone. With that said I don't see why Android Auto can't live side by side with another Android based system. The only issue might be branding. Maybe Android Auto become Android Auto Cast or something.
  • Google...give me the opportunity to put it into my car. I'll swap out my head unit with an Android M one in a heartbeat. Microsoft Sync sucks XD Posted via the Android Central App
  • Project Ara for the car infotainment system...... this way as the car ages the infotainment system can be easily upgraded to match the pace of development. Just a thought.
  • On the side of the fence that hates this idea. There is no need. Straight from phone to screen with the original design scheme for Auto is very appealing. Approaches such as these are definitely not desired for me. And I am sure third-party installations will provide this, even if they went down this route; so not worried.
  • but wait, how are the dealerships going to be able to charger you more money to add features to your dash?
    want bluetooth audio thats extra, oh Navi thats extra too, etc