Just a few months ago, Apple CarPlay debuted as a way to link your iPhone with your vehicle in new and exciting ways. Not one to be left behind or outdone, Google has unveiled what is is calling Android Auto, an Android-based car operating system that, you guessed it, links your smartphone with your car.
Android Central reports that once plugged into your car though, Android Auto offers a number of voice commands to limit distracted driving, including talk-to-text, Google Play Music, and of course Google Maps. You can even send a custom information display to your cars dashboard, which is mighty nifty if you ask me. There is also an upcoming app development kit for software coders wanting to create custom in-car apps. I wonder if that gesture-control patent might eventually come into play as well?
Google isn’t going this alone though, having amassed an impressive array of interested parties that includes Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Volkswagen. Meanwhile Apple CarPlay has been shown in…a Volvo concept.
Hrmm, seems like Google might have the advantage this time around. Google expects the first production cars with Android Auto to hit roads by the end of the year, though it wouldn’t hint at which brand would lead the charge. That said, the car shown in the video above is none other than the Kia Soul. Is that a hint, or just a coincidence?