At the 2014 Google I/O annual technology conference in San Francisco, the Android Auto technology was announced and will come to Audi’s all-new models starting next year. It was created within the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) where Audi is a member and promises to provide a seamless link for Android mobile car apps to function through the Audi MMI infotainment system.
Audi hasn’t released a video with the system but we found one with a Kia Soul on the official Android Developers account on YouTube so you can get an idea of what to expect. The system will basically provide a mirror of the regular Android environment but it will adopt a simplified interface to enable a more facile use. One of the most important apps, Google Maps, is going to feature a streamlined design featuring larger “touch targets” in order to minimize distractions.
The user will have to connect an Android-running smartphone in an Audi equipped with Android Auto and then will see a prompt asking whether he wants the apps to function via the MMI touch display and controls. While the car is in motion, the apps showing text heavy displays and multimedia video content will be disabled, while drivers will have the possibility of switching between the Android view and the Audi infotainment functions.
Besides Audi, other automakers which will implement Android Auto are going to be Kia, Hyundai and General Motors – all of which are members of the aforementioned Open Automotive Alliance.