Do you fall on the Apple or Android side of the fence? If you spend a lot of time travelling in your car, a recent announcement may offer a persuasive argument towards making you sway in a particular direction.

“Search giant Google plans to use Android operating system to control a car’s entertainment and navigation features, but could also gather huge amounts of data about driving habits”.

Towards the end of last year, international news agency Reuters reported that Google is planning a version of Android which would be built directly into vehicles, which would result in drivers being able to experience all of the benefits offered by being connected to the interest without the need of a smart-phone.

Forward Progress

Although Google currently offers ‘Android Auto’ software, which comes with the latest version of its smart-phone operating system, it has to be plugged into a compatible Googlecar with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps and therefore a fully integrated version would be a huge forward step.

Google, however, has never provided details or a timeframe for its long-term plan to put Android Auto directly into cars. The company now plans to do so when it rolls out the next version of its operating system, dubbed Android M, expected in a year or so, Reuters reported.

“It provides a much stronger foothold for Google to really be part of the vehicle rather than being an add-on,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice-president and Automotive Practice Leader of industry research firm Gartner, who noted that he was unaware of Google’s latest plans in this area.

Google declined to comment to Reuters.

Solidifying Market Position

If this move by Google is a success, it would see Android become the standard system for in-car entertainment and navigation features throughout the world and take steps towards solidifying Google’s position at the top of the market in the battle against arch-rival Apple.

Google could also potentially access the valuable trove of data collected by a vehicle. Direct integration into cars ensures that drivers will use Google’s services every time they turn on the ignition, without having to plug in the phone. It could allow Google to make more use of a car’s camera, sensors, fuel gauge and internet connections that come with some newer car models.

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