By on June 26, 2014

Android Auto + Honda Civic

Google’s entry into the connected-car game stepped up to the next level this week when Android Auto was unveiled before the developers in attendance at the 2014 Google I/O Keynote Address.

Automotive News reports Android Auto — formerly known as Google Auto Link — will not be an embedded system, but “projected” from Android-powered smartphones through USB into the head unit. Its main feature is its voice-enabled operation, allowing the driver to receive and respond to texts, get directions to the nearest restaurant or fuel station, and dictate to-do lists for later reference, all without having to take their eyes off the road.

Android Auto was also designed for app developers in mind, simplifying the process of creating, distributing and updating their work without worrying if the embedded system will play nice with them by centralizing everything around the smartphone or tablet.

Though players such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen Group and Honda are among those on-board with Android Auto, Google did not say which of the members of the Open Automotive Alliance would be the first to bring the technology to the showroom. However, Hyundai product planning manager John Shon says his employer will be the first out of the gate when newer models of the 2015 Sonata arrive with both Android Auto and competitor Apple’s own CarPlay by the end of 2014; current 2015 models will receive both systems upon release.

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10 Comments on “Google Debuts Android Auto During I/O Keynote...”

  • avatar

    Will Google-powered self driving cars “know” to avoid bad neighborhoods?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Honda is also already an Apple partner; in fact, Apple’s photography on the CarPlay section shows the same late-model Honda Civic…except for one picture, which looks like it’s from the upcoming 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

  • avatar

    There’s something I’m not 100% on with these announcements. Are there any manufacturers which are going with only one or the other? In this industry it’s exactly the type of obvious mistake that I’m sure someone will make, and the list of brand partners doesn’t completely overlap.

    The really good news on this front is that the rise of monthly payments attached to every head unit could come to a crashing halt. We’re already in a place where a new car buyer could be forking out monthly for traffic updates, car connectivity (onstar etc…), satellite radio and the occasional nav. update. This is crap value and has to stop, these are all things our phones do for free right now (sub out sat. radio for pandora et al.) In light of this it doesn’t make any sense to me for a new car buyer to buy a nav equipped car right now…unless they are willing to have overlapping third party payments for the life of vehicle in order to have all the features work as designed.

  • avatar

    I created my own “Android Auto” in my 1964 Mercury Comet. There is no head unit in it. My Nexus 7 tablet serves as the front end for the system which connects via Bluetooth to a preamp and then the amps for the sound system. Incoming calls from my phone can also be routed to the system for hands-free communication. Navigation and other entertainment (music, video, games) is handled by the tablet. Pretty impressive system if I do say so myself. :-)

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    ^@tedward People still pay for in dash Nav. They are aware of the option, they just find value in the factory one. Sat radio has it’s paying fans as well. Honda Nav uses FM traffic with zero monthly cost. On the new Civic & Fit you can connect your Apple Nav to the screen. Just get an unlimited data with your phone, and expect to loose Nav whenever on the phone.

  • avatar

    I’m just not all that impressed with this connected technology bs. It also doesn’t help that I live in a area where cell signal is poor at best.

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