The merging of our smart phones and automotive infotainment systems may be about to get an even bigger boost, if a report from Forbes is to be believed. The business publication is reporting that Google and Audi may announce a partnership at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that would see Google's Android OS taking control of Audi's MMI infotainment system.

The move by Google would be a direct counter to Apple's iOS in the Car initiative, the marquee feature of which allows drivers to access the company's Siri digital assistant via a car's voice controls. According to Forbes, other iOS features that have found their way into cars include functions for iMessage, as well as audio and satellite navigation systems.

Audi and Google already enjoy a working relationship, with the tech company providing data services on many of the automaker's cars, as well as lending Google Maps to the MMI system. If this report turns out to be true, fans of Android could find Audis looking a lot more appealing.


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  • 19 Comments
      piggybox
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Infiniti Q50 infotainment system is already based on Android and it's pretty slow. Guess it needs a better CPU than Intel Atom.
      MDD
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ford went from 8th to 30th in quality rankings due to issues with my Ford Touch (Microsoft software glitches). Audi will be the laughing stock of German Autos if they go with Android OS in their cars. Talk about bottom of the barrel in tech.
      jamesdesn
      • 11 Months Ago
      Have you heard of Java? You've heard of SUN/Oracle. Android has stolen Java code! "Do no harm," -Google CEO, so cute. When Oracle wins this lawsuit, Android will have nasty legacy problems, or repeated licensing costs raising Android base fee. iOS 7 is the best mobile software y/y.
        savageretard
        • 11 Months Ago
        @jamesdesn
        Oracle lost the patent suits and had to pay repreration for Google's legal fee. When you say stolen, it wasn't stolen. It was patent infringments which the court found Google not guilty. The patents they were trying to sue were pretty trivival imo. >> When Oracle wins this lawsuit, That is as likely as when we prove that unicorn exist.
        Jarda
        • 11 Months Ago
        @jamesdesn
        Bookmark this pafe and come back in 3 years. :)
          Steffen Wang
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Jarda
          he has a shameless iOS7 plug. i think 3 years isn't enough to fix stupid
      username
      • 11 Months Ago
      Very welcome news! Too many carmakers seem to be focusing on Crapple products
        Jarda
        • 11 Months Ago
        @username
        iOS/iPhone is on its way to history, slowly but steadily
      Laszlo Panaflex
      • 11 Months Ago
      Kind of an odd match up. Apple would be a better fit for Audi.
        LW
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Laszlo Panaflex
        don't think so. BMW's i-drive is the one with only a knob and no buttons, plus many other mfg's touchscreen has no buttons at all. Audi's MMI has alot of misc button.
        Jarda
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Laszlo Panaflex
        3 years ago this would be debatable. Today such choice would be just silly.
      Justin Ooms
      • 11 Months Ago
      Please, we do not need more distracted drivers. Radio and AC and cruise control should be some of the only gadgets in a car. Touch screens are some of the worst offenders for safety as well, as you NEED to take your eyes off the road.
        Mike
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Justin Ooms
        infotainment does not mean touch screen, it could be no screen at all. It could be a HUD, it can be voice controlled, it could eliminate all physical distractions of AC, radio, phone, heat, etc. I want to develop for infotainment and telematics systems. I love the idea of being able to tweak my cars. VAG is a pretty proprietary system as is, they lock out a lot of the common OBD-ii controllers out there. VAG-COM by Ross-Tech is one of the few that can unlock a VW/Audi closer to what the expensive systems the dealers have available to them. I really hope this match with Google will allow for some API's to be available to developers. It'll need to be sandboxed to prevent or try to prevent taking control of major critical systems, but there's HUGE potential for taking cars to a whole new level.
        Jarda
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Justin Ooms
        Please stop with this fearmongering... IWhat prevents them from providing a system with both touch and physical interface? Also have you heard that these days you can communicate with mobile OS using your voice?
          Mike
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Jarda
          There also needs to be an ability to multitask while driving. If you can't you'll crash. Eyes on the road, yes, eyes always in front...no. If you're not aware of your surroundings YOU will be the one that causes an accident or not able to prevent one. A coherent driver must at all times be looking around, listening, feeling. I agree, everyone should be required to take car control clinics, ones with real life reaction techniques, not drivers ed. Take a rally school course, you'll learn a lot more about the dynamics of handling a car and how to react to real life situations than in drivers ed where they only teach you about what laws to follow.
          Jarda
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Jarda
          omg and you have students? poor guys
          Justin Ooms
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Jarda
          The only thing to look at should be the road, not any sort of infotainment system. Drivers are terrible as it is that it should be required to take car control clinics. I make my students try to control the radio, or their phone while driving. Even trying to control a device with ones voice is just as dangerous as texting and driving.
      Jarda
      • 11 Months Ago
      This will very quickly render other automakers' infotainment systems obsolete.
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      It would be great if the Android OS found its way into vehicles. The phone to car integration would be a lot smoother and possibly a little safer for drivers who insist on using phones during driving. I wonder if it could become optional for iOS or Android. Seems that would be pretty cool, having a choice of what system you want installed at purchase.
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