The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week will feature some serious push from two technology giants, Google and Apple, who are each vying for a big share of the fast-emerging automotive infotainment market. While both companies have already had some inroads into the field, Android and iOS are largely absent in the automotive field, which is currently dominated by Linux-based proprietary systems and Microsoft’s partnership with Ford and the Sync system they’ve co-developed.
Audi, a part of the VW Group of automakers in Germany, has announced a partnership with Google in developing in-car entertainment and information systems (“infotainment”) using Android. They are also collaborating with chip makers like Nvidia and will make several announcements along those lines at next week’s show. The goal is to make the in-car touch screen similar to a smart phone in functionality.
To that end, other automakers and partnerships, such as the General Motors push to equip all of its vehicles with cell data capability (data connections to the cellular network) by 2015. Apple, which risks falling behind in the in-car operating system war, launched its “iOS in the Car” initiative in June. They start from good footing, as the iPhone is the most-integrated device for automotive so far, having several manufacturer’s offering iPhone-specific interconnectivity in their vehicles. Siri, the company’s hands-free app, has also seen big inroads into automotive use.
Regardless, this CES will feature some big announcements and a lot of cool tech for automotive as our cars become more and more our ultimate mobile device.