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Google Android teams with GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai on car platform

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, left, and co-founders Larry

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, left, and co-founders Larry Page, center, and Sergey Brin with a self-driving car. (Jan. 20, 2011) Credit: Google

Google is partnering with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Audi to bring the Android platform to cars’ infotainment and technology systems by the end of 2014, the tech giant announced Monday in a news release.

The partnership, which also includes chipmaker Nvidia, is called the Open Automotive Alliance and promises an open, customizable platform that will drive innovation in car technology.

“Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” Mary Chan, president of General Motors' Global Connected Consumer unit, said in a statement. “We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Google said it hopes the technology will easily integrate more seamlessly into cars so that drivers can focus on the road.

As with the Android mobile platform, “open” is the key phrase for the partnership – it will allow auto engineers to tailor the system to the needs of its cars. In another parallel to the Android mobile platform, Google is following Apple with this initiative. Apple has already reached deals with automakers, including Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz, to develop similar technology for its cars. Perhaps the open interface of Google’s platform will eventually attract more users than Apple’s iOS in the car, as it did in the mobile market. 

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