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Google announces in-car connectivity with Android Auto

Snapshot: The Android Auto DSK will be made available to developers soon and will reach the public later this year as part of the upcoming Android L release.

Google’s Android that has already made quite a dent in the smartphone and mobile devices spectrum, is all set to create an impact on another major industry: Automobiles. The tech giant has pulled the wraps off of Android Auto - the redesigned car-specific interface for Android at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco. 

Android Auto is a completely voice-enabled, contextually based system, so speaking to your car will allow it to pass along info on opening and closing times of places near you, or display restaurant listings, send  messages, play music, make calls, etc. Android Auto essentially, runs on the mobile device, but mirrors its interface onto a touchscreen in the vehicles’ dashboard. The user can then, interact with Android using the touchscreen or voice command. The Android Auto’s card-based interface looks familiar to the sort of technology that is seen in Google Now.

It was speculated earlier that Google was working with luxury carmaker Audi to embed its open source OS inside its cars. However, earlier this year, the tech giant confirmed that it had teamed up with five automotive and technology companies to form the Open Automotive Alliance. 

Alongside Audi, Google has been joined by General Motors, Hyundai, Honda and chip-maker NVIDIA, which will all work together in order to bring Android to their respective cars by the end of this year. The synergy aims to create a common platform to drive innovation and in-turn make cars “safer and more intuitive for everyone.” 

Google says that so far it has 40 automakers and suppliers that have partnered up as part of the Open Automotive Alliance. The Android Auto SDK will be made available to developers “soon” and will reach the public later this year as part of the upcoming Android L release. 

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