Google to Unveil In-Car System at I/O to Rival Apple CarPlay: Report

Google to Unveil In-Car System at I/O to Rival Apple CarPlay: Report
Google is reportedly all set to introduce its in-car system at its annual software developer conference, Google I/O, next week, and take on Apple's CarPlay in the process.

According to three sources familiar with the matter speaking to Automotive News, Google will unveil its first in-car system codenamed Google Auto Link at Google I/O on June 25 and 26 in San Francisco. The product is said to have been built by the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance whose members include Google, Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and graphics chip maker Nvidia.

Google had at CES this year announced its partnership with leading carmakers and a chip-making firm in order to bring its Android operating system into vehicles in 2014. The members of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) had announced in January they will support the OS' widespread use with certain tweaks.

"The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone" the group had announced. "Its open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way."

It's now bring reported that Google Auto Link is not an embedded infotainment system or a true operating system, but rather a "projected" system that allows users to control their Android devices via car controls.

Although not many details have been given by the sources, it is expected that the rumoured Google Auto Link will let users control their Android devices using in-car controls such as touchscreen interfaces, steering wheel controls, voice recognition etc., just like Apple's CarPlay platform announced in March at the Geneva Motor Show.

CarPlay allows users to plug their iPhone into compatible infotainment systems or vehicles in order to control entertainment, navigation, and call handling features via voice commands and steering-mounted controls. The feature will require an iPhone with Lightning dock connector, which is limited to the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c.

Users can trigger Siri via a steering-mounted button, allowing them to control phone functions while keeping their eyes on the road. Cars with touchscreens will be able to display a customized iOS-like interface, and physical knobs and buttons in the car will hook into CarPlay as well. Directions can be displayed on-screen using Apple Maps, which will include turn-by-turn prompts, traffic condition notifications, and estimated travel time.

Apart from the in-car system expected to be unveiled at Google I/O next week, Google is expected to provide more details about the "new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device" it had spoken of at CES.

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