Google to roll out Android Auto for all vehicles
- Google released an update to Android Auto that brings the tech to all drivers, even people with older vehicles that don’t have dashboard displays, according to reporting by Fortune.
- The in-car software comes installed on more than 200 new car models from 50 brands.
- According to Google, the new version of the software will roll out globally to more than 30 countries over the coming days.
Technology like Android Auto is important for tech giants such as Google because it’s another piece of the puzzle that keeps consumers tied to the Google ecosystem. Google Maps and Android Auto are a natural integration. The push onto more cars also creates more user data that can be used for targeted advertising and building customer profiles. And since drivers are basically a captive audience, Android Auto could plausibly offer opportunities for highly personalized and targeted messaging and offers.
Google parent Alphabet has already staked its ground in the auto space with its crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app Waze. That platform is attracting a number of marketers for promotions, like Dunkin' Donuts. Waze is also testing a ride-sharing service similar to Uber.
Android Auto is in direct competition with Apple’s CarPlay while automaker Ford is ramping up its mobility strategy.
The new version of Android Auto is designed to be used either on a car’s display or directly from a phone. Its layout is simplified with a few large icons that are all accessible via voice control, an attempt to allow drivers to remain focused on the road. The software’s functionality includes maps and messaging. Google said it will be enhancing hands-free voice command support in the next few weeks.