Google Conference

Connected cars are coming en-masse. We know this much. How, though, remains something of an open question, especially as two of the world's largest tech companies are preparing to battle for control of your car's dashboard. On the one hand, we have Apple and its CarPlay system. And now, we know what Google has been working on with Auto Link.

Its new name is Android Auto, and yes, it's based off the Android architecture that is the primary challenger to Apple's iOS mobile operating system. Announced at Google's I/O conference today, Android Auto functions similarly to CarPlay – owners will need to plug their smartphones into their cars to access the full breadth of capability.

In Android Auto's case, that means a wealth of voice controls to limit distracted driving. Google's marquee apps will be available when the interface arrives in production models later this year, including Google Play Music, Google Maps and voice-activated texting and text playback. Meanwhile, developers will be able to begin designing custom apps for the new system via an upcoming software development kit.

The technology is nearly as impressive as the roster of manufacturers Google has already enlisted to offer the system. Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler are on board, as are Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen.

It's not entirely clear which manufacturer will be the first to offer Android Auto in a production model, although Google says it expects the tech to hit the roads before the end of the year. Considering that, you should expect to hear a lot more about this new technology in the coming months.

Take a look below to see Android Auto in action in a brief video.