Apple may have its squad of iOS in the Car partners, but Android is putting together one of its own. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German automaker announced that it--along with Apple allies General Motors, Honda, and Hyundai--had joined Google and Nvidia to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA).
The OAA's goal isn't world peace, but rather to bring Android tech to production cars by 2014. The plan is to use the open development model that has become an Android trademark, contrasting Apple's more traditional, top-down method of product development.
Both carmakers and tech companies have decided that the dashboard will be the next mobile-device battlefield, and Google's conjuring of the OAA ensures that it will at least be a two-way fight.
At its 2013 World Wide Developers Conference, Apple announced iOS in the Car, a suite of features including messaging, Apple Maps, and Siri voice control tailored to in-car use. Twelve automakers signed on with Apple, including OAA partners GM, Honda, and Hyundai.
The car-specific version of Siri--known as Siri Eyes Free--will also roll out independently in certain Chevrolet, Honda, and Hyundai models over the next year.
The emergence of an Android-based infotainment system will create the sort of parity one would expect of the highly competitive car and tech industries. Hopefully drivers won't be too blinded by all the shiny new features to see the road ahead.