Google, Fiat Chrysler team up for Android in-car system

Dive Brief:

  • Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has partnered with Google to combine its existing Uconnect infotainment system with an open-source Android platform for the next generation of connected cars, per a company press release.
  • According to Chris Barman, head of electrical engineering at FCA, the upgraded platform will maintain the Uconnect user interface while adding Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.
  • The refurbished Uconnect is being demoed at CES this week and is powered by 7.0 Nougat, the latest version of Android.

Dive Insight:

Google's expanded partnership with FCA illustrates the company's interest and investment in deeper integrations with automotive systems, another competent of the burgeoning Internet of Things landscape. TechCrunch reports that the latest version of Uconnect's Android offerings goes well beyond the previous Android Auto model, which was simply a scaled-down version of the Android interface available via in-car displays for mounted smartphones. 

Google wants to build up Android technology as a “turn-key automotive platform” that's also an integral, safe and seamless part of the vehicle, said Patrick Brady, director of Android Engineering at Google, in a statement. Infotainment systems available via connected cars present a potentially rich but still largely untapped opportunity for marketers, who are still focused on reaching users on other screens like mobile devices. 

Recent reports from the IAB suggest that up to 65% of consumers would be receptive to ads on IoT devices, including connected car systems, though how those ads will play without distracting a driver is largely unclear. 

Filed Under: Marketing Tech Corporate News
Top image credit: Uconnect