By Jennifer Geiger on June 24, 2014
Last week, we told you of Google's plans for a vehicle operating system to rival Apple's CarPlay; at today's Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, the tech giant unveiled the details of its new Android Auto system.
The operating system runs on a smartphone, and after connecting the phone to the car, it projects its interface to a vehicle's touch-screen, allowing the user to interact with the system's functions via vehicle screen or voice command. Users can access and control Google maps and Google Play Music, as well as their phone's contacts and messages; third-party apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio will also be compatible.
Android Auto is the first system to come from the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition of tech and auto companies working toward bringing the Android platform to cars. The group consists of more than 40 members, including Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia, a tech company. Honda, Hyundai and Audi have announced that Android Auto will be available in select model-year 2015 vehicles, but specific models and trims will be announced at a later date.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer