Makes General Motors Audi cars

Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai - Google's new friends

The dominant smartphone system Android from Google comes into the car. The Internet group presented an alliance with several large car manufacturers on Monday, including Audi from Germany. The partners want to be the first to work on enabling new forms of integration of Android devices in the car. In addition, Android should also be adapted for the car to make driving safer and easier, it said in a Google blog entry.

What makes this part of the announcement interesting is that Google has been testing a fleet of self-driving cars for years. The chip specialist Nvidia, which is also part of the new alliance, presented a processor especially for robot cars at the electronics trade fair CES in Las Vegas. Allianz member Audi appeared as the first customer for the chip. The alliance is called the Open Automotive Alliance. It is a direct reference to the name of the Open Handset Alliance, from which Android emerged. Android is by far the most widely used smartphone operating system and, according to the latest available figures, had a market share of over 80 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

The Google system competes in parts with the Apple ecosystem "iOS in the Car" (iOSitC), which the iPhone manufacturer presented at its WWDC developer conference last summer. Manufacturers such as BMW, Merces-Benz, Ferrari and the new Google partner Audi are also on board in the Apple alliance. The car manufacturers General Motors, Honda and Hyundai, who are also all iOSitC partners at the same time, are also participating in the alliance led by Google. Other manufacturers are invited to "work on a common platform for innovations in the car".

Android in the car will bring drivers the apps and services they know and like and make it easier for drivers to implement new technologies, Google promised in the blog entry. Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor, unveiled on Sunday, could become a key element in connected and self-driving cars. It is specially designed for image processing in vehicles and is intended to control assistance systems equipped with cameras. Such systems, for example, notice pedestrians, monitor blind spots or recognize street signs. Nvidia has increased the computing power of the Tegra K1 tenfold compared to previous processors with the same power consumption.

The chip could also drive the screens that are supposed to replace the traditional pointer displays in car cockpits, for example for speed. The new chip can also be programmed by radio so that car manufacturers can adapt it to new functions without visiting the workshop.

dpa