|Initial release||March 19, 2015|
|Operating system||Android 5.0+ ("Lollipop")|
Android Auto is a smartphone projection standard developed by Google to allow mobile devices running the Android operating system (version 5.0 "Lollipop" and later) to be operated in automobiles through the dashboard's head unit. Android Auto was announced on June 25, 2014, at Google I/O 2014. The Android Auto mobile app was released on March 19, 2015.
The standard offers drivers control over GPS mapping/navigation, music playback, SMS, telephony, and web search; both touchscreen and button-controlled head unit displays will be supported, although hands-free operation through voice commands is emphasized to ensure safe driving. Compatible apps include Google Maps, Google Play Music, MLB at Bat, Spotify, Songza, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn.
Android Auto is part of the Open Automotive Alliance, which was announced on January 6, 2014, and is a joint effort with 28 automobile manufacturers and mobile tech supplier Nvidia. In May 2015, Hyundai became the first manufacturer to offer Android Auto, making it available first in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Customers may update their current 2015 Sonata at a dealership or via self-service starting June 16, 2015.
The aim of Android Auto is to extend the functionality of an Android mobile device in an automobile to the dashboard's head unit. In order to use the system, users must be running Lollipop on their mobile device and must own a vehicle supporting Android Auto. The driver's Android device connects to the vehicle via USB cable. Rather than running its own operating system, the head unit will serve as an external display for the Android device, which runs all of the software, by presenting a car-specific user interface built into Lollipop.
Several functions are supported:
An Android Auto software development kit (SDK) will be released to developers soon, allowing third parties to modify their apps to work with Android Auto; APIs will be only available for music and messaging apps initially.
Car hardware support
With Android Auto, a driver's mobile device will have access to several of the automobile's sensors and inputs:
|Car hardware||Available to mobile device|
|GPS and high-quality GPS antennas||Yes|
|Car data||Under development|
Partnering manufacturers and suppliers
Automobile manufacturers that will be offering Android Auto in their cars include Abarth, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, RAM, Renault, SEAT, Škoda, Subaru, Suzuki, Volkswagen, Volvo. Suppliers include Kenwood and Pioneer.
The following models are available with Android Auto:
- Hyundai Sonata (May 2015)
- Skoda Fabia (June 2015)
- Skoda Superb (June 2015)
- Skoda Octavia (June 2015)
- Honda Accord (August 2015)
- VW Golf/GTI (September 2015)
- Chevrolet Cruze (2016)
Several aftermarket car audio systems have been released that include Android Auto, including three from Pioneer
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- Brenner, Andy (June 27, 2014). "Google I/O 2014 - Android Auto: Developers, Start Your Engines!". YouTube. Google. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Nel, Heinrich. "Sophisticated Sophomore: All-New 2016 Chevrolet Cruze". media.chevrolet.com. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Pioneer-Android-Auto". Retrieved 28 August 2015.