Will cars networked together through an Android-based computer system change the face of transportation?
Monday’s announcement from the Open Auto Alliance (OAA) touts a partnership with automakers General Motors, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and a computer technology companies Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) to place the Android operating system inside automobiles.
“The car is the ultimate mobile computer,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. “Futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction.”
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A networked automobile, which could first appear in 2014, could hasten the arrival of computer-driven cars and create a link between the cars on the road and infrastructure control such as traffic lights as well as creating enhanced navigation systems. The technology could also help police identify stolen cars and introduce a networked entertainment experience into the automobile where Pandora and other personalized music and news sources could replace standard over the air radio and passengers could update their Facebook status, among other breakthroughs.
Computer driven cars are an area pioneered by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the partnership could clear the path for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s self-driving car technology to gain widespread adoption, according to a report in CNET. It remains unclear exactly how the OAA partnership will integrate with Google or other technology such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s IOS system, which also seeks to create self-driving cars, or how the system will integrate with existing automotive technology such as General Motor’s OnStar communication technology. One possibility is that the OAA partnership would lay the foundation for the networked car and other applications would sit atop this connection platform.