What does Android Auto mean for the future? 

In May, Google announced an array of exciting new updates to Android Auto:

“An in-car software platform that brings the functionality and feel of a smartphone to the vehicle’s central screen.”

The Android operating system, originally designed for phones, is set to eventually take over the entire functionality of future cars, including “the heating and cooling, navigation, and music – even the speedometer, fuel gauge, and other parts of the digital instrument cluster.” Users of the platform can also activate voice commands by saying “OK, Google” and will be able to operate the technology wirelessly through their car’s built-in Wi-Fi network.

Google has also announced that the

“Android-based car platform will be open-source and that automakers can customise it however they like.”

Additionally, Android Auto will be available to all (not just those with compatible cars) via their smartphones.

Impact on the automotive industry

While Android Auto and similar platforms may be appealing to car owners, many fear it could pose a grave threat to the automotive industry as we know it. A report entitled Digital disruption and the future of the automotive industry, released by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, states that due to new technologies, “automotive companies will need to develop new core capabilities to survive.”

The document goes on to explain that these improving “digital services” will likely be “highly disruptive to the auto industry” because “they will reinvent existing business models, create new models, change the auto ecosystem and redesign customer engagement and expectations. Along this journey, control points and profit pools will change, and economic value within the auto industry and across adjacent markets will be forever altered.”

With so many technological advances happening around us on what seems like a daily basis, it is often hard to know whether they are all positive changes. One thing’s for sure: progress will continue, and only time will tell the exact extent of our technological footprint.

Where we go from here

The comprehensive smartphone integration of Android Auto and the demand for such technology says a lot about consumers’ continued dependence on social media and their desire for unlimited access to relevant news. Users of Android Auto and similar services will get real-time message alerts through their car, thus remaining social-medially omniscient, even while operating a vehicle. Is there now anywhere we can’t stay connected?

The new, technologically advanced Android Auto platform also inspires discussions over what’s next. What can we expect from the future of cars? When will we be able to nap on our way to work as we fly in our auto-controlled pod? Thanks again to Google, it might be much sooner than we think.

Google started working on self-driving cars (which they market as being “easier and safer for everyone to get around”) in 2009, and to date have self-driven more than 1.5 million miles. While these marvels of modern technology are still in the testing phase, Google hopes to one day “work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.” Other companies, including Uber and Fiat, are also investing time and money into expanding the technology.