Google and computer chip maker NVIDIA on Monday announced a partnership to install the Android operating system on cars in 2014. The development is part of an effort to expand the mobile networking features of vehicles built by Honda, Hyundai, General Motors and Audi.
This previously expected partnership to create smart cars using Android is called the Open Auto Alliance, which will create a common platform for mobile networks across smart cars. Android is used on more than a billion mobile devices, making it the most widely used mobile operating system in the world.
"The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA in a release. "The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster."
Android will help enhance the user experience of on board computer systems including the OnStar system on GM brands including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, the tech giant said. These operating systems allowing phone calls, text messaging and turn navigation are becoming more common as laws increase limiting the ability of people to use mobile devices while driving.
This announcement comes as the Consumer Electronics Show begins in Las Vegas, where smart cars are among the most popular new innovations being featured during the week-long gadget showcase and tech industry conference. More than 125 auto technology firms will be exhibiting during the CES. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will give a keynote speech on Monday evening during the CES, where he may speak more about the Open Auto Alliance and the future of smart cars.
Google joins an already heated competition to innovate smart cars. Apple's Siri mobile networking system is found on cars including those built by Honda. Cars built by Ford also offer the Sync mobile networking system designed by Microsoft.
The Open Auto Alliance appears poised to add new companies, explaining on its website that it welcomes "those in the automotive and technology space who are committed to bringing the best of mobile into the automobile in safe and seamless ways."