The big news today is that Google is developing an Android product that would be part of the car with internet connections and not require a smartphone. Even though we’re not even close to having Android Auto deployed in real cars yet, except for the Hyundai model Sonata 2015 models with AVN systems.
The report notes that Google has never mentioned when or how the system will be deployed. Unnamed sources stated that Google is working on Android M for in-car systems that could allow Google to use the camera, fuel gauge data and Internet connections in cars.
There are few problems with Google’s plans which are car safety and the car makers themselves have to test safety aspects of every single line of code within the vehicle.
You can see below a video we shot at the LA Auto Show at the LA Convention Center of Android Auto. Although James, Google Android Auto Project Manager says that the system is designed for safety most of the actions are accomplished via the touchscreen. It’s darn near impossible to safely drive and look at the touchcreen at the same time. Apple CarPlay disabled the touch and zoom feature in CarPlay for safety.
Once Google takes over your life, it makes choices for you that you may not want. In the video, you will see that Google Now only shows Italian restaurants that are far away from the LA Convention Center because of Google ranking and reviews. However when we checked Yelp there are four Italian restaurants listed within walking distance with ratings of four stars. When an iPhone connected to CarPlay is asked to find Italian restaurants it the area, closer restaurants are shown. (video will be coming soon)
That’s not all the obstacles to a Google powered car. For instance it currently takes 30 seconds for Android to bootup and car systems have to work instantly. On top of that, car designers don’t want the same system design across all makes and models. For example, at the Connected Car Expo at the LA Auto Show, a representative from BMW noted that BMW designs the infotainment features to work with the design of the car.
For car systems to be approved they have met safety and security guidelines, something Android does not meet, but QNX does.
Another thing we should remember about Google is that Google does things knowing that they may never come to fruition for example the Google Nexus Q, sound orb, that was announced in 2012.The Nexus pulled content directly from the internet via Wi-Fi or ethernet, and the Android phone or tablet was used to control it. After receiving highly critical reviews Google pulled the media streaming Nexus Q off the market and was never seen again.
So what then does Android M stand for? Android Maybe or maybe not running in cars.