Not content with infiltrating every other aspect of daily life, Google has announced it’s latest innovation, Android Drive, which will soon see the Internet giant’s mobile operating system displayed on your dashboard.
Launched as a rival to Apple’s recently launched CarPlay software, the Android operating system is not installed directly into cars, but rather allows the user to dock their Android phone, creating an interface on the dashboard through which major functions can be controlled. Functions can be operated through steering wheel-mounted controls, a centre console touchscreen or entirely by voice commands, Google claims.
Android Drive will also let drivers use Google Maps on a larger screen, something which will no doubt prove to be a relief to users currently relegated to squinting at a phone balanced precariously on the dashboard or in a cup holder. The in-car version of Maps will include live traffic information as well as advanced local search options.
Much like the Apple CarPlay system, users will be able to easily browse their phone’s music collection and use selected apps. They can also listen to text messages read out loud and dictate replies.
Over 40 car manufacturers, including Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Volvo – all of which are members of the Open Automotive Alliance – have signed up for the new technology, with the first cars equipped with the system due to appear in showrooms by the end of the year.