The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi auto alliance announced it is partnering with Google to embed the Android operating system in its future vehicles. The three automakers and their sub-brands plan to bring the Android-based infotainment system to customers starting in 2021. The system will integrate many of Android's features right into the vehicle's infotainment system, including Google Maps, access to the Google Play Store for apps, and Google Assistant.
"With the integration of the Android platform into our infotainment systems, we are adding a new level of intelligence to our connected vehicles," says Kal Mos, global vice president of Alliance Connected Vehicles at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. "In the future, the Google Assistant, which employs Google's leading AI technology, can become the main way customers interact with their vehicles, hands-free.
Maps will provide turn-by-turn navigation while owners can download new apps from the Play Store. Google Assistant will allow passengers to answer calls and texts, find information, manage vehicle functions, and control media using their voice. Convenience isn't the only thing embedding Google's Android OS will allow.
The partnership will also focus on integrating cloud-based systems – the Alliance Intelligent Cloud – and vehicle connectivity to enhance the driving experience. The Alliance Intelligent Cloud can help allow for data management, over-the-air upgrades, and remote diagnostics. The Android-based operating system will always be updated along with its suite of apps from Google and other developers.
"We are building powerful connected and seamless onboard / off-board experiences into our vehicles in addition to the features of Google applications and services that many users are accustomed to, including Google Maps, the Google Assistant and the Google Play Store," added Hadi Zablit, senior vice president of Business Development at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Volvo and Google have a similar partnership, announced earlier this year; however, Volvo didn't specify when its vehicles would come with the operating system backed right into its vehicles. Neither Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi nor Volvo stated how much access Google would have to a vehicle's data. Using Google services often comes at the price of handing over large amounts of identifying data to the technology behemoth.