Google announced Android Auto, an Android system designed for use within cars, at its annual developer conference Google I/O 2014.
Android Auto aims to put navigation, music and communication within easy access of the driver but without any major distractions. Patrick Brady, Director of Engineering at Google, explained how dangerous driving and using a device is.
He explains “Cars remain disconnected from our digital lives. What have drivers done to bridge this divide? Well even though it’s unsafe and sometimes illegal people used their devices when they drive. Research has shown that 25% of accidents in the US are caused by people fumbling with gadgets behind the wheel. There’s got to be a better way.”
Following January’s announcement of the Open Automotive alliance Google aims to make connected cars a reality.
Completely voice enabled it allows drivers to connect their Android phones to an Android Auto enabled car which has a dashboard touch screen. All apps run from the phone so as apps and phones are upgraded so is the in-car experience.
A simplified UI allows Android Auto to be entirely managed via voice commands and by using special controls to on steering wheel.
For example, Google maps for Android Auto is completely voice enabled so drivers are able to enter address and start navigation without taking hands off the steering wheel. This expands to messaging. Incoming messages are read out and replies can be dictated and sent back.
Released later this year, Android Auto enabled cars available before the end of the year.