Along with a whole mess of other neat new technologies, Wednesday’s Google I/O presentation brought some news on the future of Android Auto integration in cars.
At the conference, new Android Auto features were being shown off on a Maserati Ghibli that was modified by Qualcomm. Basically, it had a very Tesla-like info screen setup. Both the gauge cluster and the center stack were taken over by two massive screens that were running a software called Android Auto N.
Cars that have the ability to run the Android Auto N software can have their screens, like the two in the Maserati, completely taken over by the Google software. AM/FM radio functions, air conditioning controls, and other basic features will also be able to be controlled through this software.
Additionally, Google is developing its own Android Auto application that can be installed on older infotainment systems. This would allow cars that aren’t brand new and that don’t come Android Auto tech from the factory to take advantage of the software’s different features and helpful smartphone integration.
It’s unclear what the procedure might be to install an application like that on older cars.
Google said at during its presentation that Android Auto N software likely won’t be in cars until 2017. But cars that are already equipped with Android Auto tech are expected to get upgrades later in 2016. Those updates will include things like Waze integration (finally), voice control by saying “OK Google,” and the ability to connect phones to Android Auto via Wi-Fi, instead of by just using a USB cable.
Apple CarPlay better step it up.