Automobile major Honda has announced it will integrate Google’s Android Automotive OS into an all-new model that will be launched in the second half of 2022. The carmaker will reportedly start rolling out vehicles with Google’s embedded Android Automotive OS, which includes Google’s voice-activated Assistant, Google Maps, and other automotive-approved Android apps.
- Two vehicles: At present, there are just two vehicles on sale globally that come with Android Automotive – the Volvo XC40 Recharge (set to launch in India early in 2022) and the Polestar 2, both electric vehicles from the Volvo Group. Google is already collaborating with the likes of Ford, General Motors, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to incorporate Android Automotive into their vehicles going forward.
- Collaborations: “We will collaborate with Google to better integrate Google in-vehicle services in our vehicles including the ability to more easily use features like Google Assistant, Google Maps functionality, and other in-vehicle apps offered through Google Play,” the report quoted a Honda spokesperson as saying.
- Manufacturers: So far, many vehicle manufacturers have avoided close collaborations with big tech, who would be interested in obtaining vital consumer data that could be sourced from vehicle infotainment systems. However, the allure of an actual smartphone-like experience inside the vehicle could help push vehicle sales, which is why Honda is unlikely to be the last carmaker to join hands with Google and integrate Android Automotive into its offerings.
- Future models: Expect to see Honda’s future models for India, too, to feature the Android Automotive OS. However, the integration may still be some time away, with Honda’s next all-new model for our market – said to be a new midsize SUV – understood to still be in development.
- Benefits: Key benefits of Android Automotive include integration of the voice-enabled Google Assistant, which can execute a variety of operations basis inputs from the vehicle occupants, in-built Google Maps navigation, and integration of apps from the Google Play store. In addition, Google also collaborating with the likes of Ford, General Motors, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to incorporate Android Automotive into their vehicles.