Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Google have joined forces to integrate the Android operating system into all of the world’s leading automotive group’s vehicles, starting in 2021. Combined, the members of the Alliance sold 10.6 million vehicles across 200 markets last year which only cements their place at the top of the charts.
Vehicles in the Alliance will benefit tremendously from Android, the world’s most popular operating system. In fact, Android powers 80% of the world’s smartphones and while the focus is on Android, the system will also work with Apple’s mobile operating system along with a few others.
Working in partnership with Google will offer a more intelligent infotainment system with added customer focused-applications across several makes and models. It provides more accurate navigation with Google Maps and access to a vast number of apps from the Google Play Store. In addition, combining the latest technology means an enhanced ability to answer calls and text messages, control media and managing vehicle functions through voice commands using the built-in Google Assistant.
Although most car manufacturers already allow users to link their Apple or Android phones to car systems through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, using the Android operating system offers so much more. It will enable cars to receive ‘over-the-internet’ infotainment software updates including Google Assistant voice commands for some car functions such as windshield wiper controls, lights, and radio among others.
As stated by Kal Mos, Global Vice President for connected vehicles for the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, “Since the operating software can be continually updated, the system will be able to handle communications with other vehicles or infrastructure such as traffic lights when those features become available.”
While many of the vehicles will share the Android platform, each brand has the flexibility to create their own unique customer interface. This includes adding specific features over and above what’s on the common Android platform. Honda, Volvo, and General Motors already run Android in their operating systems but they are not as advanced as what Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi will offer.
According to Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst for Navigant Research, “As more cars become linked to the internet, automakers are finding suppliers who have better systems that can be updated. The next generation of Android should have much better voice recognition than anything now in the auto industry. It will be more natural language that’s going to make it a lot better and easier for consumers to use”.
This new infotainment partnership is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance effort and 2022 mid-term plan to wirelessly connect more care to cloud-based services. The agreement symbolises the group’s focus on integrating next-generation technologies to drive sales of more than 14 million units per year by the end of 2022.
The plan also extends to the launch of 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles and new autonomous-driving technologies and the ongoing investment in the Alliance Intelligent Cloud. Combining the latest technologies from the Alliance and Google, the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi vehicles will feature one of the most intelligent infotainment systems in the market today.
When asked about the partnership, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President of Platforms & Ecosystems at Google, said, “Google and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi share a common vision of delivering an intelligent, safe and seamless in-car experience with apps and services that are familiar, upgradable and connected. We’re thrilled to partner with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to bring the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other popular apps via the Play Store and Android to drivers and passengers around the world.”
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