Android Auto already allows you to extend your Android smartphone experience to a compatible car but Google has been working with carmakers to provide a proper Android experience. Ahead of the company’s I/O developer conference this week, it has announced partnerships with Audi and Volvo which will see the car manufacturers pick Android as their in-car operating system.
Upcoming Audi and Volvo models will both have in-car infotainment systems that are built on Android 7.0 Nougat. The implementation will be more powerful than Android Auto as there will be deeper integration with the OS as well as support for the full Google Assistant experience.
The cars’ main touchscreen displays will thus be powered by Android as well as the digital displays behind the steering wheel. Audi already offers Google Maps integration in its optional digital display called the Virtual Cockpit.
Since the car’s main infotainment system will be powered by Android, the OS will also be used to control some basic functions like cooling and heating, opening and closing windows, seat position, and more.
Volvo has said that the Android-based infotainment system will arrive in its cars within two years. Audi is going to show off its implementation of the Android-based infotainment system in the new Audi Q8 Sport concept.