Rise of the Androids

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© Zeynep Demir/Shutterstock
ON THE UP: Google already boasts partnerships with over 40 vehicle manufacturers.

GOOGLE’s upcoming version of Android could see the tech giant’s operating system weave its way far deeper into car manufacturers’ entertainment and operating controls.

The next Android, provisionally called Android N, will sit alongside an updated Android Auto system allowing drivers to control standard features such as sat-nav, music and Bluetooth. 

However, it will also be able to operate new areas of vehicle functionality, including air conditioning, heated seats, electric windows and even door locks.

Google has worked with mobile technology company Qualcomm on the joint project using a Maserati Ghibli as its test car, with the vehicle’s operating systems replaced with Android Auto on a large tablet-style split touchscreen, plus additional graphics on the instrument cluster directly behind the steering wheel.

That said, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already joined forces to spend nearly €2.6 billion on acquiring Nokia’s HERE division, demonstrating that manufacturers remain committed to their own proprietary navigation systems despite the increasing influence of non-automotive brands such as Apple and Google.

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