Google is expanding its automotive presence with the introduction of Android Auto 2.0. The latest version of the software will allow users to access certain apps directly from their mobile device without the need to connect to the vehicle’s HMI.
As the importance of infotainment and connectivity expands, accessing vehicles that don’t have the correct HMI technology already built into the vehicle becomes more important.
The move by Google will help expand the use of Android Auto, as unlike other mirroring technologies such as Apple CarPlay, users won’t be restricted by the hardware installed in their vehicles.
“Google’s product manger for Android Auto Gerhard Schobbe said: “We launched Android Auto two years ago with the goal to better integrate phones and cars, and give drivers an easier way to access the information they need. There are now over 200 new car models supporting Android Auto offered from more than 50 brands, and many more launching every day.”
The latest update allows anyone with an Android phone running version 5.0 of its operating system or later to use a driver friendly interface to access the key applications when driving such as directions, music and communications.
“You can bring your music with you with apps like Spotify, Pandora or Google Play Music, and make calls or send messages with hands-free voice commands. And of course, get turn-by-turn directions to your next destination with Google Maps,” said Schobbe.
The firm is also enhancing support for hands-free voice commands so accessing features such as maps, music and messaging becomes easier so drivers can stay focused on the road.
Version 2.0 of Android Auto is being rolled out in more than 30 countries where Android Auto is currently available.