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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

The battle between Google and Apple is for the Soul of Your Car

Your choice of smartphone operating system, either Android or iPhone, could influence the brand and model of the car you buy in the future.



It was using an illustration of an upcoming in-car entertainment system that would utilise brand-new Qualcomm chips. Qualcomm recently entered the auto industry, previously dominated by traditional auto-parts manufacturers.


In a few years, you might have to choose between the Google and Apple models and the manufacturer and model of your next car. Other choices may be vehicle maker generic.

Most of the dynamics in the initial periods of the mobile business are now playing out in the auto sector as automobiles, especially electric ones, start to resemble smartphones on wheels. In the last few years, the rivalry between the two dominant players in the smartphone market has picked up steam. Google has forged alliances with automakers for its Android operating system designed for cars, and Apple has hinted at plans to increase its software's functionality in vehicles.


Google's decisive actions are an excellent place to start understanding what is happening to the technology that controls our cars.


Most of our cars are becoming controlled by software, from the code and computers that ensure the car stops when we press the brakes or the car handles the braking for us. It could also be the driver assistance systems that keep the vehicle's speed and bearing on the highway.


However, the infotainment system, which displays everything from maps to movies on the road, is at the core of the auto-operating system battle thus far. Both Google and Apple have platforms named Android Auto and CarPlay that display phone apps on the displays of moving vehicles.

Google has advanced; it introduced Android Automotive in 2017, an operating system installed in the car that manages the built-in infotainment system rather than just showing a miniature version of a phone's screen. Android Automotive is the technology that converts the screens in many modern automobiles into what is essentially a tablet computer running car-specific Android applications.


Google Automotive Services is a program that allows automakers to license Google's software, including Maps and Assistant, but doing so is voluntary.

In addition to obtaining information from the car's speed, battery level, heating and cooling system etc., Android Automotive is significantly more capable than Android Auto.


Additionally, this suggests that more individuals are using Google products like Maps and Assistant. From the standpoint of its user interface and the apps that can run on it, nearly everyone who purchases one of the hundreds of millions of vehicles planned to run Android Automotive will purchase an Android smartphone with wheels.


Similar to how The same battle may change Apple Watch faces, drivers will be able to alter the appearance of their vehicle's instrument clusters with the help of Apple's upcoming CarPlay software.


Almost a dozen automakers and auto-parts suppliers have been collaborators with Google, including Stellantis, Honda, BMW, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and the GMC and Chevrolet brands of General Motors. Other automakers, including start-ups for electric vehicles like Lucid Motors, have declared they are utilising the open-source Android Automotive operating system.


It's difficult to foresee how the software transformation of automobiles will proceed because it is still in its early stages. However, Kersten Heineke, a partner at McKinsey headquartered in Germany who consults with automotive clients, believes that many automakers may eventually offer cars with infotainment systems created by Google or Apple that have undergone little change by the carmaker.


Major automakers have declared their intention to employ Qualcomm's chips in upcoming models.


The Android Automotive software, which automakers may license to function on their vehicles whether or not an iPhone is linked to them, is the closest thing Apple has announced. The business also exercises extreme caution when publicising its future ambitions.


For the subsequent emphasis on CarPlay, starting with vehicles sold in 2023, Apple has announced more than a dozen launch partners, including Volvo, Ford, Honda, Renault, Mercedes, and Porsche.

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