The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi auto alliance announced it is partnering with Google to embed the Android operating system in its future vehicles. The promise for consumers? The deals "will supply new infotainment systems for their vehicles, including services such as Google Assistant and Google Maps", Reuters reports.
Click the audio player above to hear the full story. Drivers will have access to turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps, as well as to the ecosystem of automotive apps on available from the Google Play Store. Automakers have struggled to make digital dashboards that are as user-friendly and reliable as smartphones, and have faced criticism for systems that are glitchy or too complicated to use while driving, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The alliance's executives said many of its customers are already predisposed to using Google's apps over the ones developed by the vehicle companies and their suppliers. So people would love to have an infotainment system in their vehicle as well by Android.
Google's potential dominance in voice assistants can not be overemphasized if it finally makes it into the automotive realm. The Wall Street Journal first stated that the risk involved in the venture poses more of a risk for the vehicle companies as they can possibly lose customer relationship sand future revenue for those individuals who aren't satisfied with Google's services.
Other automakers have recently taken steps to integrate their software with technology from Silicon Valley firms. This Alliance sells more vehicles (10.6 million vehicles globally) than any other auto manufacturer and is looking to bring their Android-powered systems from 2021.
IHS Markit estimates that auto makers this year are using some level of Android software in 19% of the infotainment systems installed in vehicles globally.
However, Android will not be integrated in these cars for another three more years, which means that Google can still plan to install Android in many more cars in the future.
As part of the partnership, vehicles sold by the Alliance will be embedded with the Android OS, the world's most popular mobile operating system.