While Android Auto brings Google features to a car, Android Automotive brings native access to Google Maps, Google Assistant, and more. Since Android Automotive is an operating system, automakers can integrate it into the vehicle in any way they want. That means vehicles with Android Automotive can look different and have different features. It also allows, vehicles to have multiple driver profiles for their preferred apps, preferences, and accounts, making it highly customizable.
Android Automotive, as opposed to Android Auto, is an operating system. It is an Android-based platform that has been optimised for use in automobiles and is directly integrated into the infotainment system. It is capable of supporting Android-based applications. Customers who own a vehicle equipped with Android Automotive do not need to connect a phone to use it, as it is available independently, similar to Ford’s SYNC or Toyota’s Entune systems.
The list of vehicles with Android Automotive is currently very small. The Polestar 2 was the first vehicle on the market with Android Automotive, while the Volvo XC40 Recharge followed shortly after. The Ford F-150 Lightning is expected to get Android Automotive in 2023, while the GMC Hummer EV Pickup and SUVs also have the operating system. Other automakers that have plans to begin selling vehicles with Android Automotive shortly include Honda, General Motors, and Stellantis. Expect to see a lot more vehicles come with Android Automotive in the future.
One major benefit of Android Automotive over a traditional infotainment system is its ease of use. While automakers have a lot of freedom over the design of how the Android Automotive looks in a vehicle, the operating system is far easier to use over a traditional one with a look that mimics what consumers interact with on their phones, tablets, and laptops.
The infotainment system is revolutionary and is set to change operating systems in cars forever. Seriously. For decades, automakers have made overly difficult infotainment systems that require manuals to learn. Android Automotive wraps Google’s best features into an easy-to-use package that feels familiar. We can’t wait for more vehicles to arrive with Android Automotive.
At the moment, Android Automotive is mostly found on expensive, all-electric vehicles that are looking to offer cutting-edge tech features. For most consumers, moving to a vehicle with Android Automotive could be a stretch, but for those that can afford to do so, we think the operating system is worth the money.