'Hey Google, take me home:' Android soon to power millions of cars

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 23 Sep 2018

Google's operating system is now on its way to become the main way we interact with countless models of cars. — dpa

Drivers know they shouldn't distract themselves by quickly turning on some music or sending a short message while at the wheel. And yet it's so easy to be tempted to do it anyway.

But this is where your smartphone's voice-activated digital assistant can help. Google is using its personal assistant to make its driver-friendly version of Android easier to use.

To this end, Google has partnered with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, a collective that sells more than 10 million cars a year, to embed Android's operating system in their cars.

According to the partnership, cars built from 2021 onwards will feature a built-in Android system, aimed at making it easier for drivers to start a new navigation, turn on Spotify or send a text without taking your eyes off the road.

"In the future, the Google Assistant, which employs Google’s leading AI technology, can become the main way customers interact with their vehicles, hands-free," says Kal Mos, head of alliance connected vehicles at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

"With Google Maps and the Google Assistant embedded in Alliance infotainment systems, our customers will have some of the most advanced AI based applications at their fingertips," Most says.

The digital assistant for Android Auto became available in the US at the start of the year and is now available to Android smartphone users in over 30 countries.

According to Google, you can currently call up the Google Auto system on your car's screen in around 500 models from more than 50 manufacturers. Even if you don't drive a compatible model of car, you can still access Android Auto straight through your smartphone. – dpa
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