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CES 2014: Google’s Android OS is mating with cars at CES, promising big things for your ride


CES 2014: Google's Android OS is mating with cars at CES, promising big things for your ride

The marathon of tech that’s CES in Las Vegas kicks off later nowadays. We’re anticipating a bevy of thrilling automotive-tech bulletins, beginning with Audi’s drawing close shift to Android, powered by way of Nvidia chips, for its multimedia systems.

At this stage, no longer a good deal extra is famous about Audi and Google’s plans rather then that it kinds a part of a broader alliance of automotive firms, together with Common Motors and Honda, all making the soar to Android for his or her in-automotive methods.

As for the Nvidia attitude, we’re indubitably speaking some more or less Tegra chip, although we doubt so as to right away imply the brand new Tegra K1. More likely the first Android Audi will have Tegra 4 on board.

In-car conundrum

For us, there are two critical questions. Firstly, with multiple manufacturers making the move to Android at the same time, with in-car tech become increasingly samey?

Secondly, what advantages might in-car Android hold for users of Android handsets and tablets? It’s not hard to imagine a greater level of integration twixt handset and car if both share an OS.

So, what else can you expect from CES? We’d put decent money on several companies, including Audi again, showcasing self-driving car tech.

Self-driving cars

There’s some psychological resistance to the idea of self-driving cars from some quarters. Some worry about driving involvement. Others about the rise of murderous four-wheeled overlords.

But we think those reservations will fade away when people get their heads around the huge benefits of robocars. They promise to have as big an impact as the car itself did a century ago – and almost all for the good.

More use of integrated 4G cellular networking is another good bet for CES this year, though many companies may opt to leave data connectivity to smartphones via greater integration. We think the latter probably makes more sense, if only to minimise the number of data contracts you have to manage.

Apple alliances

While we’re on the subject of car-tech tie ins, what about Apple? Expect more announcements and detailed demos of cars using Apple’s Siri voice control interface.

In-car voice control to date has largely been a painful experience, but the benefits for safety are pretty obvious, so in-car Siri could be a major advance.

Meanwhile, while we doubt Apple is planning to have iOS fully integrated into cars, CES 2014 could see car manufacturers using iOS devices to power in-car interfaces.

In fact, Mercedes already offers just that with its DriveKitPlus, which involves a whole secondary infotainment that duplicates much of Mercedes own integrated COMAND Online system. Intriguing.

We’ll bring you all of the interesting car tech news from CES as it breaks.