At Codelab, we own rich automotive experience with various embedded platforms, but we constantly track new technologies that will drive automotive industry in the future. We see that Android Automotive has potential in future development of automotive industry as an alternative OS offered by Google. As engineers who know Android as mobile OS and how it can connect to car infotainment systems, we are interested to see how the new OS will work on different types of hardware. We are also curious to see how it works with external devices and what the differences between Android Automotive and the other technologies used in the industry are.
What’s Android Automotive?
It’s an Operating System crafted for use in vehicle dashboards introduced in 2017 by Google and Intel in cooperation with Volvo and Audi. Creators claim not only it could be used as an infotainment system but also it could control some car functions. Android Automotive OS based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) might be a useful codebase for car manufacturers who may want to use it as a base for their own version of operating system. Android Automotive is Android, it shares the same repository as Android shipped on phones, tablets, car radios, watches, helmets etc. Android Automotive extends Android with features, requirements and technologies which are specific to automotive industry.
Is this already used?
It’s already used in Polestar — brand of Volvo’s electric cars. Polestar 2 is the first car using Android Automotive OS. As this technology is new and as every new thing, it needs time for development and testing. All bugs and errors need to be fixed to provide safety for its users – that’s a key part of automotive industry – cars need to meet very high standards of safety for customers. As we watch the industry evolve, we see that Android Automotive OS might be an interesting alternative. Especially that Google is steadily increasing its involvement in car technologies: self-driving car (WAYMO), navigation, phone connectivity etc.
Who from automotive industry is interested in using Android Automotive software?
The first was Volvo and Audi, then in September 2018 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, General Motors in September 2019 and the PSA Group in July 2020. As Android Automotive is new for this industry and we already see well-known brands using it, we can only suppose that in the future other automotive companies could be interested in using this technology in their cars.
Did you know?
We are looking for Android Automotive Developers!