Google launches automotive Android alliance

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Google launches automotive Android alliance

Joined by large car makers.

Google has teamed up with global car makers to integrate its Android mobile operating system into vehicles, the company announced overnight.

Called the Open Auto Alliance, Google's director of Android engineering, Patrick Brady, said in a blog post that the industry organisation aims to adapt the operating system to cars, to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable.

The car makers joining forces with IT vendors Google and Nvidia include General Motors, Audi, Honda and Hyundai. Others are encouraged to join the OAA, which expects cars with Android integration to emerge at the end of this year.

Graphics chip maker Nvidia hopes to sell its new 32 and 64 bit Tegra K1 chip with 192 cores to car manufacturers, for use in automotive applications and also for pre-sales.

The company's chief executive Jen-Hsung Huang showed off the new processor's ability to produce fast, hyper-realistic graphics at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

General Motors intends to pair Android devices with its Onstar 4G LTE mobile broadband connections in future vehicles, the company said.

Google is a relative late-comer in the area, and won't be the only player to take part. Apple announced its own iOS in cars initiative in June 2013, with the support of a large group of makers.

Microsoft pioneered the use of computerisation in cars, having launched its Windows CE-based platform in 1998, once again backed by several large car vendors.

Its Windows Embedded Automotive platform has been installed in over 50 million cars, Microsoft claims, and provides compatibility with devices from competing vendors such as Apple and Samsung.

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