Google is increasing app choices throughout its open-source infotainment platform and in automobiles with built-in Google purposes. Drivers will be capable to entry WebEx and Zoom, Prime Video, the Weather Channel and the Vivaldi internet browser of their autos, the corporate stated Wednesday.
Android Auto, Google’s open-source growth toolkit, will enable builders to incorporate WebEx and Zoom integrations with audio-only functionality. Google Play, which is included in Google’s built-in suite of apps in some autos, will embody Prime Video in choose Renault, Polestar and Volvo automobiles. The Weather Channel will even be out there on Google Play.
Some of the integrations, resembling Zoom and Prime Video, can be found this week, whereas WebEx and the Weather Channel shall be out there within the coming weeks.
“We’re really offering choice for OEM developers and drivers,” stated Haris Ramic, director of product administration at Android Auto. “Our goal is to really help [automakers] and consumers to make sure that they can build out the right product for their customer.”
Android’s extra choices echo different current in-car app integrations. Earlier this yr, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group stated they’d combine third-party video apps, resembling Zoom and TikTok, into automobile infotainment facilities. Tesla Inc. unveiled an over-the-air software program replace final December that added Zoom.
The new integrations additionally come as automakers develop more and more refined infotainment methods, with a lot of them utilizing the Android Automotive software program growth package. That push is an element of a bigger battle to wrench again management of the infotainment expertise from smartphone mirroring instruments resembling Android Auto and Apple AutomotivePlay, which have dominated cockpits for nearly a decade. Automakers see a pretty new income stream from subscriptions to software program options, which partly requires reclaiming the native infotainment middle.
More than 98 % of recent automobiles within the U.S. help Apple AutomotivePlay, though Tesla and Rivian Automotive use their very own interfaces and General Motors won’t help AutomotivePlay in its new EVs.
Less than half of homeowners need to use built-in infotainment for telephone calls, voice recognition and navigation, in keeping with a J.D. Power research issued in July.
Safety advocates have voiced considerations about growing app integrations’ affect on driver distraction.
Google’s new options have limits meant to stop drivers from getting distracted. In Google’s built-in purposes, there’s a restricted variety of instances a driver can scroll earlier than that perform is disabled. Android Automotive has default frameworks that stop movies from being performed whereas the automobile is in movement.
Given that the event package is customizable, nonetheless, automotive companions could make software program tweaks to permit options resembling passenger video shows whereas the automobile is transferring.