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Google, Nvidia and Audi work together on in-car technology

by Mark Tyson on 30 December 2013, 13:15


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A new report in the Wall Street Journal says that we will see the first fruit of Google, Nvidia and Audi's collaborative labour at the CES next week. Of course this means Audi in-car entertainment, information, navigation and display technology using Google and Nvidia technology. The WSJ says that the technology war will open up on a new front with this Audi announcement, demonstrating Google's commitment to take on Apple in our automobiles.

"People familiar with the matter," told the WSJ that the plan is to "allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones". The fruits of the collaboration will also be shared with other tech and auto companies to try and establish Android as a major player in in-car tech.

Google's move happens six months after we first heard of Apple's 'iOS in the Car' initiative with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, GM and Honda in integrating iPhones into car information and entertainment. Perhaps after CES we will see the battle lines drawn as automakers opt for one or another mobile OS allegiance. In the future the built-in car infotainment OS might make a difference to your purchasing choice. Apparently the in-car display is often the focus of much attention when people are buying new cars.

Honda's 2014 Civic features 'iOS in the Car'

The WSJ points to a difference in approach to Apple and Google where Google systems will run on built-in ARM processors in the car but the iOS integrated cars will use your iPhone as the 'brain' when you get in the car. Honda's first efforts of iOS integration are starting to become available now and feature dedicated Siri buttons on the car steering wheel so you can get the virtual assistant to do your bidding as you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Before this news about collaboration with Google and Audi emerged, in Nvidia's latest set of financials published in November, the company said it would experience "considerable growth" in selling chips to car makers and expects to make $400 million in sales over the next couple of years.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Honestly, I don't want all this stuff in my car - sat nav, parking sensors, radio etc fine, put it on a screen but apps? Why? with the possible exception of something like torque I can't think of one sensible reason you might want an app on your dash.

Presumably this is for the new A4 if they're talking about it now, which will probably run till 2014ish, are you still going to want to run android 4.4 in 2020? I know I won't.
I'd rather not have this as a distraction when driving. My last car had a touch screen media centre and I couldn't use it while driving due to the lack of tactile buttons.
Why the hell are they putting these things in cars? A car is for getting from A to B, nothing else. You are also supposed to concentrate 100% on the driving not being distracted by rubbish like this. It's bad enough now with idiots all over the road texting on mobiles without having to dodge even more idiots who are fannying around with bloody apps in a car.
It'll probably be over priced and generally crap just like the manufacturers satnav solutions.
Isn't the point of this to take responsibility for this away from the manufacturer, so they don't end up with a crap non-updated system? If Google are going to push this they should make it Nexus like, meaning you get updates direct from Google, or at the very least Audi would become first tier partners so updates are swift.

A car might be just for getting from A to B for some, but for others if is something they spend more time in than anything else. Or what about the passengers? There are a of of media options that they could take advantage of when you are driving. the irst thing that comes to mind would be the use of Spotify, or BBC iPayer Radio.

I can totally see the point in this, and I really hope that either Google approach a third party head unit manufacturer, or one of them approach Google.

Some have suggested that the governments u-turn on the digital radio switch over has as much to do with mobile internet usage exploding as it does with the slow take up of DAB is cars.