×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Launches Android Automotive Consortium

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the search-and-drive dept.

Google 117

DeviceGuru writes "Google announced an initiative with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia aimed at fostering and standardizing Android in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. The Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone, says the group. The OAA is further committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. In its FAQ, the OAA suggests that this is not a full-blown Android in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, but rather a standardized integration stack between automotive systems and mobile Android devices. However, the OAA FAQ also discloses broader ambitions for 2015 and beyond: 'We're also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

117 comments

QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45879951)

Looks like QNX is going to see some brutal competition.

Re:QNX (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 3 months ago | (#45880411)

Doubt it. QNX is far better established & proven. See no reason for cars to switch to Android, when they could use QNX and put on a better UI if the current one is inadequate

Re:QNX (2)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 3 months ago | (#45881255)

Doubt it. QNX is far better established & proven. See no reason for cars to switch to Android, when they could use QNX and put on a better UI if the current one is inadequate

Many auto makers have tried that and failed horribly. Then there's having good GPS applications, good radio streamers, etc that you then have to create. I think that's half the drive of using Android; Google is doing most of your software development and the app makers are doing the other 40%. The auto maker is left with a lot less of the workshare and a lot less of that support long tail.

Re:QNX (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 3 months ago | (#45881725)

Is there any particular reason why a QNX system can't have a good GPS or radio streamer? Is it a question of not having Java/Dalvik VMs, or not having native apps? Currently, QNX does an excellent job operating realtime systems in a car, so replacing it w/ Android hardly makes any sense. And how may applications does one need on the console? GPS, Music system/radio, DVD, that's about it? Last thing we need there is streaming ads that would make the console require a lot more resources, jacking up the price of the car. Note that all the auto electronics are usually more expensive equivalents of consumer parts, so while it may be affordable to have GBs of memory in your phone, it won't be when it comes to a car.

Re:QNX (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882035)

A better question would be, "Why are automakers using QNX for non-realtime tasks in a vehicle, when message passing between disparate computer systems has been around since the beginning of the Internet?"

You still have QNX run the engine, advanced radar/auto-braking, lane drift detection, etc., but there's no reason that the same QNX system has to run the DVD display system for the kids in the back seat, or the stereo system in the console, etc., etc.

Re:QNX (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 3 months ago | (#45882199)

B'cos that's all that the system has to do. There's no reason to run Google Chrome on the DVD display; there is no reason to run WinAmp or VLC on the console. Nor is there a compelling reason to put 5 or 6 different music players on the console or DVD software on the display, and let the kids fight over which to use. Just have something that does your usual music playing, and if needed, toss in an XM satellite radio. No need to put Linux or Windows 8 or something fancy in the console just b'cos it doesn't have to be realtime.

Re:QNX (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 3 months ago | (#45882263)

use QNX and put on a better UI

Hahahaha. Phone OEMs are bad at making UIs, but they look like fucking geniuses compared to car manufacturers. Seems like you haven't used so-called "modern" dash computers.

Re:QNX (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 3 months ago | (#45882443)

But UIs are a lot better now. For instance, one could take Plasma Active and put it on top of QNX, and make it the UI of the console

Re:QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45883517)

Is that you Dan Dodge?

Sorry, but shouldn't you be busy wrecking what's left of BlackBerry? The QNX Connected Car is a joke that you haven't been able to sell to anyone (other than RIM, sadly) for as long as you've been dreaming about it.

QNX is a largely unimportant RTOS, hobbled by screwing over their own developer community, that could be easily replaced with just about any other RTOS. Don't forget that *other people* created the systems and devices that QNX claims. When QNX tried to make a real device they made Playbook. Seriously. Oh, and they had to abandon all of their "microkernel is the only way" ideology to make it run at the pathetic speed it manages to achieve. Ever wondered why it takes 10 minutes to boot? Ever wondered why each app takes so long to start? Ever wondered why when anything crashes you have to restart the entire aystem? Ever wondered why QNX runs on the app core and the legacy BBOS runs the other 3 cores (you know, the ones that do the hard work)?

Re:QNX (1)

phrostie (121428) | about 3 months ago | (#45881201)

on one hand the current in car interfaces are hideous.
there NEEDS to be some brutal completion.

on the other hand, if Google does for my car what they did for personal privacy, just shoot me now.

now maybe if Apple was in on it, they'd have my location 5 km off in a random direction.

Re:QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45883983)

Why not both? QNX for the real time stuff like the CAN Network and hitting the brakes. And then Android for the Entertainment parts and the fun bits. Little Hypervisor / Microvisor solves that problem.

Naturally (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45879957)

Google wants Android in the dash of cars so they can track you. "Hey, you just passed one of our ... um, I mean, you just passed a Carl's Jr. - aren't you hungry?"

I guess self driving cars aren't enough for Google. They want to be in the driver's seat of dashboard technology too.

Re:Naturally (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880073)

Normally, we call a product "vaporware" before there is one single independent test of it.

For some reason, with Google self-driving cars, we assume they deliver up to claimed spec. We cite the statistic about fewer accidents than with human drivers, even though conditions were chosen by Google, expert human back-ups were available throughout who were dedicated to the job of ensuring a car is driven safely, and there was zero review of the evidence used to make the claims.

The Google robot car, for anyone remotely following the modern scientific method, should be regarded as an experimental idea, not a working implementation.

Re:Naturally (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 3 months ago | (#45881237)

I think that is mostly just another example of the sad state of science reporting in the media. There aren't enough journalists on large mainstream media payrolls who know how to ask the right questions, like questions about numbers and statistics.

According to Google they had driven 0.005 billion kilometers by 2012, and since the US has about 9 fatalities per billion vehicle kilometers you can do the math yourself. Google was nowhere near in 2012 to having driven enough distance to be able to make any claims about safety and as far as I know, they haven't actually made any statistical claims. What Google engineers have said is essentially that the computer that drives the car thinks that it is better than expert drivers at driving. Who knows, maybe it is, but you have to cringe a at the circular logic in that statement. Let's see what the numbers say when they've driven 10 billion kilometers.

Re:Naturally (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 3 months ago | (#45881289)

No, we call it vaporware where there isn't a single implementation of it or just one in a lab. We call things alpha or beta when there's been a couple of implementations and then things beta or stable when there are independent reviews confirming the meeting of general requirements.

Anyone who's driven the 101 has seen the Google self driving cars operating remotely, and there are a number of articles about blind people going out and getting take out by themselves in the car, as well as a number of reports from residents in small Nevada towns where Google is testing these.

They might not be ready for prime time, but they are far, far beyond VaporWare.

Re:Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45881951)

No, we call it vaporware where there isn't a single implementation of it or just one in a lab.

Vaporware is a matter of perception. It doesn't matter how many claimed implementations there are inside or outside of a lab - what matters is whether there is trusted evidence produced independently of the creator.

I don't think anyone doubts that Google cars exist and drive along specific regular highways, but that's not the same challenge as substituting a computer for a human driver.

Those "lets a blind person in a small town pick up pizza!" commercials (don't confuse press releases and news items), again, are merely evidence of some successful experimentation.

Driving set routes under vendor-controlled conditions is an interesting challenge. Driving like a human driver can, IOW from random A to B under an arbitrary variety of unexpected conditions, is a wildly harder challenge.

Re:Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880117)

Cars are a whole wild world of 'standards'. The in dash computer is just one small example. Every company out there has its own flavor.

They want standards as much as it makes it easier for them to buy parts. But for everyone after that? Its custom.

For me the end customer so what if it has a 'standard' connector on it. I can *only* buy the 1 freeking size that is only sold by 1 company or it will not fit. For example my in car stereo. Inside it is a 1 din radio. The face is custom molded into the rest of the dash. The steering wheel connector only works for my car and its radio. I can find sometimes after market parts. But it usually involves some jury rigging. Oh and then god help you if your stereo is somehow the computer that runs the whole show.

We *have* standards. They only use them when it suits them. Oh and MS has a standard for vehicles too. We can see how far that went.

Re:Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880267)

Oh and MS has a standard for vehicles too. We can see how far that went.

Yep. Closing in on 15 million installs [microsoft.com], and used in nearly 20 cars and trucks [wikipedia.org], including the best selling vehicle in America [wikipedia.org]. Seems to have gone quite far!

Re:Naturally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880419)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States#Total_number_of_vehicles

Yeah huge amount... ~5%

Seems to have gone quite far! and I can pluck that computer out of that ford and pop it in an nissan? Or even say between the focus and the f150? yeah.

Oh yeah. If you scroll to the bottom of your 'nearly 20 cars' bit you will see a section called 'telematics'. *each* of those is 1 'standard'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sync#External_links that will get you within 5 lines.

Re:Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882359)

Yeah huge amount... ~5%

The percentage is meaningless as it includes vehicles with no comparable system at all, which make up most of the numbers. And yes 15 million is a huge amount, Apple's iPhone has a global share of less than 5% if you include the non-comparable dumbphones too, so you suppose that hasn't gone particularly far either?

meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880761)

Cars are so 20th century. Even flying robot cars.
Hell, even Microsoft's in that market. That just proves that only old people drive cars.

Hyperloop's where it's at in the 21st century, chelloveck.

Re:Naturally (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 3 months ago | (#45881619)

Actually I could see it benefiting it's autonomous vehicles greatly, with Google tech in all of our cars it could detect traffic flow more easily giving the autonomous vehicles that deliver or do repetitious driving an edge.

Trolling... Right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45879991)

This can't be true. They can't seriously be thinking this will go well.

Just give me a standard size and connector! (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about 3 months ago | (#45880023)

Think of the kind of computer or phone you had 5 or 10 years ago. Do you want a 5-10 year old device hard-wired into your car 5-10 years from now?

And no matter how "open" Google tries to make things, vehicle OEMs are just as bad as handset OEMs and cellular carriers and they WILL make these things suck. I know a guy who has a $100 windshield-mount GPS in his GPS-equipped car because he didn't want to pay the dealer $hundreds to update the maps in his built-in unit. So now he has a device on his windshield with a dangling cord and some dead space in his dash.

Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (4, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | about 3 months ago | (#45880181)

I want knobs. Knobs and physical buttons. Let them surround a fancy whizz-bang touchscreen if you want, but I damn well want to be able to turn up the heat or volume without looking.

Re: Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880459)

The only way they can afford to put in all the fancy electronics is by removing other features. So to get the fancy touchscreen and keep the total cost down, they integrate everything into the touchscreen and remove all other controls.

In the appliance control business that I work in, all the hype has been for electronic controls. Unfortunately, said electronic controls have had a hard time meeting the long term reliability record of electromechanical timers and controls. The Maytag washer that lasts decades has gone away.

Some people want that back, so there's a 'reactionary' market of people demanding the simple, old reliable machines.

Re: Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#45881117)

Yeah, because they dont' want to pay premium prices for a machine whose touch rots away from skin oils, bleach, and detergents within 5 years.. Tactile controls in cars are a necessity because it allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road. Digging through menus of bullshit is not acceptable.

Re:Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 3 months ago | (#45881243)

ideally that touchscreen & those knobs in the dash should accept inputs from external devices and be able to communicate back with them, then the inbuilt software in the vehicle can be worked-round if obsolete

Re:Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (2)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 months ago | (#45881339)

I want knobs. Knobs and physical buttons. Let them surround a fancy whizz-bang touchscreen if you want, but I damn well want to be able to turn up the heat or volume without looking.

That's what on-wheel controls are for. I've driven a car with touchscreen inputs for quite some time (2005 Prius), and I've never ever had issues (and neither have my parents) in using the car interface even while driving.

The key to usability is, as you say, an appropriate set of on-wheel controls, and knobs/buttons for the key non-wheel controls (i.e., audio interface has both touchscreen and knob/button interface) where appropriate (i.e., high traffic controls) and the touch interface for the non-key, complex controls (i.e., monitoring fuel efficiency status, synch, navigation setup, etc).

Is Tesla any different than Toyota's implementation of touchscreen?

Re: Where's the Knob Alliance when you need them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45883197)

Bluetooth and possibly NFC control modules that provide mappable physical inputs and discreet feedback should suffice, yes?

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45880187)

Yup, I definitely agree with this.

My wife's last car had in-dash GPS. Unfortunately, when we asked about getting an update to the maps, it would have cost about $900 for the new DVD.

When you can replace the damned thing for less than $150 for a dedicated unit, what's the point in having it?

By the time you get technology in a car, it's 5 years old ... and by the time the car is 5 years old, the in-dash technology is usually so outdated as to be useless.

The auto-makers are all scrambling to get this stuff into their cars because it's the new hotness. But by the time they've built and deployed it, it's old and busted. You end up paying several times what you could buy a device for at any electronics store, for a device which is mostly obsolete by the time you even have it.

My 6 year old Tom Tom, I still get map updates for.

And, really, as people are slowly learning that distracted driving is really dangerous, adding all of these "in-vehicle-infotainment" is just more crap and distraction. You want to entertain your kids in your car? Buy 'em a $200 tablet.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45881427)

By the time you get technology in a car, it's 5 years old ... and by the time the car is 5 years old, the in-dash technology is usually so outdated as to be useless.

 

Seriously, I have a Model Year 2001 BMW 3-series that has a freakin' *cassette deck* in it. That was the upgraded stereo option

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880237)

This.

I tend to keep cars until they are nearly 20 years old. It would be like my boss demanding that I program on a 486 at work.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880317)

The only company that can actually get automotive companies to actually agree and do something "right" is Apple. If Apple put a 1-2 DIN audio head, they would push out the half-hearted attempts by vehicle makers and after market companies (Alpine, Sony) just like Apple seized the MP3 player market by storm.

Apple would make a killing if they went into the automotive audio market. Standardizing the car interface, offering streaming, XM radio, AM/FM radio, and even apps so one can start the vehicle from remote, set the temperature and see when the vehicle is warmed up... stuff nobody can ever dream of doing except Apple.

Android will just fragment as vehicle makers want their own features (OnStar), while Apple is the only game in town that can present a unified UI regardless of maker.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#45880851)

So, the solution is "one size fits all," or maybe "our way, or not the highway." I'm not buying it.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882501)

That would actually be a great slogan for an Apple unified car UI: "Our way AND the highway!"

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 3 months ago | (#45881091)

A standard interface would be nice too

I have 2 windscreen mounts in my car - one for satnav as and when needed, the other for my android phone. The car's a 2001 Volvo V40 XS (cheapest version) without a car computer but with a full OBD-2 compliant interface - a bluetooth adapter lets me use my phone to give a constant readout of speed, RPM, engine temperature and spot fuel efficiency

If OBD could be extended so as to allow media/entertainment and car climate control over OBD we could forget standardised interfaces and just mount a portable Android tablet in a clip over the dashboard console and handle all-in-one. This would however require future Android versions to be able to split-screen and display several apps, else it risks jack-of-all-trades apps that end up the optimal tool for none. It would allow all the UI customisations you make to your personal car to be migrated to any other vehicle while you use it.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#45881139)

Yeah, I'll pass. The last thing I want is my car audio usurped by a company that overcharges for useless handholding. I like the fact I can dump a bunch of mp3s onto a flash drive and plug it into my aftermarket stereo with no fuss. Apple tries too hard to manage everything with itunes/ipods/iphones and just ends up getting in the way.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (2)

Jakeula (1427201) | about 3 months ago | (#45881851)

I guess I shouldn't expect anyone on /. to RTFA, especially an AC, but Apple already is doing this with all the same auto makers and some others called iOSitC. Outside of the difficult to remember name of Apples group, I personally don't want Apple Maps guiding me around any town. Also, how will Android fragment the IVI? this isn't like a phone OS, IVI's don't leap to the latest hardware every few months. All you require is something like Spotify/Pandora for music, general peripheral connectors like AUX, USB, and SD cards, Bluetooth for calling, and navigation with an easy to use interface. All of that is achievable on older versions of Android, and I expect they will fork a specific version for IVI. Many players have been in the IVI game for a while with a lot of success, so I dont think Apple can corner a market on this even if they wanted to, what I think is happening is simply an OS standard. I have had a few IVI's over the course of my life and they all differ greatly in interface and functionality even with the same manufacturer. So iOS or Android doesn't matter really, we just need it to work and be the same.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45880337)

Do you want a 5-10 year old device hard-wired into your car 5-10 years from now?

The plan is you wont have that car 5-10 years. 1 or 2 year trade-ups, perhaps with a subsidy to keep you on contract... BYOC will be frowned upon.

Joking aside i do remember a time when many people would simply trade up every year or so, and once the car was not new, the dealers really could have cared less.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45880433)

Joking aside i do remember a time when many people would simply trade up every year or so, and once the car was not new, the dealers really could have cared less.

Now there's an understatement -- the dealers were ecstatic to have people doing that.

You buy a new car, and it massively depreciates as you drive it off the lot. Then two years later you come in, provide them with new inventory to sell, and then sell you another car at full price.

For car dealers, that's pretty much the pipe-dream. Because you're essentially paying over and over again.

I've known people who traded in a car every 1-2 years -- and I've mostly been of the opinion they're subsidizing the dealers at their own expense.

I've always referred to the depreciation of a new car and buying another one before you've amortized the first as a "stupidity tax". Unless you're so well off you can afford to be giving up that much on depreciation and not care, you're probably getting screwed in the long run.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (4, Insightful)

s122604 (1018036) | about 3 months ago | (#45881493)

The main reason people get new cars less frequently is that cars are a lot better than they used to be. It used to be getting a car to 100k miles without major engine work was a rare occurrence. Now, the automotive consumer gets pissed if that doesn't happen.

I know that flies in the face of the "everything was better when I was young" old-man logic, but it's still a fact.

The industry is looking for reasons to get customers into the showrooms on a faster cycle, hence the heavy focus on enhancements like this

It also kinda explains why making the product easily upgradable isn't a big concern.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882177)

The main reason people get new cars less frequently is that cars are a lot better than they used to be. It used to be getting a car to 100k miles without major engine work was a rare occurrence. Now, the automotive consumer gets pissed if that doesn't happen.

For which you can thank the Japanese for actually producing cars which weren't pieces of shit, and forcing the American manufacturers to compete on quality.

There were a lot of years where Detroit put out absolutely crap cars, and expected people to buy them anyway.

Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota were making cars which were better built and lasted longer.

To this day, I still get into an American car and think "why can't you buy a fucking Honda, take it apart, and understand what goes into making a decent car?"

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

s122604 (1018036) | about 3 months ago | (#45882483)

At this point: the quality improvements made over time, to the automotive fleet as a whole, dwarf any deltas between brands from a given year.

Also, the supply chain has been so homogenized at this point that underlying components are nearly identical.
Their ad men work really hard to convince you otherwise, but if you really think brand X is going to sell you a 25 thousand dollar car that will burst into flames months after you drive it off the lot, while brand Y, for the same amount of money, can build you a magic car that will go 300k miles without seeing the mechanic, you are just silly...

It just doesn't work that way[br][br]I have one small commuter car, a corolla, and one larger family car, one of the new Chevrolet Impalas. I bought both because I like them and felt like I was getting a fairly good deal (relatively, car dealers being the scumbags that they are) on each.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#45882487)

Well, I will say that today's cars are more prone to needing expensive maintenance because of all the customized electronics and optimized-to-the-edge mechanical tolerances. This isn't good either. There's something to be said for driving an older car whose engine just needs a new set of points and plugs every so often and it's good to go. The rest of it's too simple to fail intractably. Sure, technically it needs more maintenance, but that maintenance is predictable and well understood. A lot of it can be done by the owner. Not so with newer cars, and this planned obsolescence treadmill should be factored into the cost of buying them.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 3 months ago | (#45880539)

Think of the kind of computer or phone you had 5 or 10 years ago. Do you want a 5-10 year old device hard-wired into your car 5-10 years from now?

This is a primarily US site. Most people here don't expect their cars to last that long.

Re:Just give me a standard size and connector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880655)

My newest car pre-dates Firefox.
By the time I get one of these, you'll have direct neural interfaces to the Internet in your self-flying cars.

More like... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 3 months ago | (#45880029)

Creating a standard interface that only easily (and fully supports) the connection of Android-based devices. Frankly, I'm shocked Apple didn't already make this move. If this happens (and spreads), the only devices you'll want to hook up to your car will be Android-based since those will probably be the only ones you can interact with using steering wheel controls, etc.

Re:More like they did (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880209)

Creating a standard interface that only easily (and fully supports) the connection of Android-based devices. Frankly, I'm shocked Apple didn't already make this move. If this happens (and spreads), the only devices you'll want to hook up to your car will be Android-based since those will probably be the only ones you can interact with using steering wheel controls, etc.

They already have
http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.com/2013/09/apple-is-looking-interesting-again.html

Re:More like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880227)

Frankly, I'm shocked Apple didn't already make this move.

Don't worry. If it starts to catch on, Apple will announce their new iCar accessory for the iPhone and iPad, for the first time ever, you will be able to integrate your phone and car in a seamless manner that offers the driver complete access to the phone resources while not interfering with their ability to pay attention to the road!

(note that this will be reported as the first ever, regardless of what else is already on the market)

This is terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880031)

We already know Google will sue if a phone manufacturer tries something other than pure Android while being part of the Android consortium. Will Google sue all these manufacturers for using QNX or Sync as well as offering Android?

Do no evil, my arse.

As open as the OHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880033)

This is another PR stunt by Google, the "Open" part is a misnomer. To be part of the OAA you are forced to use only Android as your IVI system and are explicitly forbidden from using any competing Android-fork. So much for openness and freedom.

--
Disclaimer: I work for TAGA (The Arrogant Google Assholes)

A bit unsettling (5, Funny)

jpmahala (181937) | about 3 months ago | (#45880051)

"...enable the car itself to become a connected Android device."

hmm. It's one thing for me to carry an android device around in my pocket. It's quite another to have an android carry me around in it's pocket.

Re:A bit unsettling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880491)

Perhaps they are referring to things like in this article. [linuxjournal.com] Wasn't there something recently too about remote control driving your car with your Android devices? Guess you will soon be able to start and unlock your car with your Android devices as well. Wonder how long it will take before the "other auto industry representatives" can start and unlock entire parking lots of cars at the same time, then instruct them to drive to the wandering chop shops. Once they read the error codes they can simply destroy the defective parts and transponders etc as they disassemble. That way you can have a ready supply of cheap parts to replace the bad ones on yours you discover with your Android device!

Have fun with the related "do no evil" discussions, especially when discussing how all the automakers will, no doubt, want to try and block all the above. Of course there are laws already on the books that are supposed to make them allow private individuals to read the codes and do their own repairs, as well as non-automobile manufacturer's aligned mechanical shops, rather then take it to the manufacturer related shops.

2015: Year of the Linux Automobile (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880079)

Just imagine: instead of ACPI and driver issues, we can have life threatening kernel panics!

Re:2015: Year of the Linux Automobile (1)

sinij (911942) | about 3 months ago | (#45880261)

I am afraid with this type of use-case, driver issues are here to stay.

You Knew It Was Coming... (1)

mx+b (2078162) | about 3 months ago | (#45880283)

Just imagine: you go out for a drive, and your car starts communicating with other cars in the next lane and suddenly its a beowulf cluster of them...

Re:You Knew It Was Coming... (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 3 months ago | (#45880627)

And then robotic koreans start spraying hot grits everywhere! Slashdot trifecta!

OAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880141)

I'm sure this will be just as effective as the Open Handset Alliance.

Re:OAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880383)

If by effective, you mean that 4 out of 5 cars sold will run Android, probably. If by effective you mean it will take away your reason for living because all Android releases on all devices will happen in a simultaneous orgasm of version number bumps like iOS trash and leave you with nothing to troll about, then probably not. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Simpsons did it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880155)

Apple beat them to the punch
http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.com/2013/09/apple-is-looking-interesting-again.html

Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (4, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | about 3 months ago | (#45880201)

>>> "We're also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device"

I prefer my cars air-gaped. Why? First, I don't trust automotive manufacturers to introduce adequate security measures. Second, I don't trust automotive manufacturers to stay on top of patching security holes over car's expected useful lifetime.

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880349)

>>> "We're also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device"

  I prefer my cars air-gaped. Why? First, I don't trust automotive manufacturers to introduce adequate security measures. Second, I don't trust automotive manufacturers to stay on top of patching security holes over car's expected useful lifetime.

...and even if the auto makers kept up with security updates, they will charge "an arm and a leg" to install them for you. Why is that? Have you seen any major auto makers make a car where the owner can update the software themselves? I don't know of any.

captcha: unionize (go figure)

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#45880465)

The less on the CANBUS the better. Even if someone couldn't seize control of a device, but force it to crash, that would be a coup for carjackers.

Automakers have a lot of economic disinterest in adequate security measures:

1: Once the vehicle is purchased, aftermarket updates are a cost center.

2: They don't want updates; they need to sell new cars, not just prolong the device life of older vehicles.

3: They rely on security through obscurity too often, and when this breaks, it can be a bonanza for thieves, especially if it offers the ability to open a vehicle without force.

4: It is far easier to stonewall or just sic the battalion of lawyers on someone.

I also prefer an air-gap, and basic functionality (Bluetooth speakers and speakerphone.) If I want a GPS, I can buy one. A GPS in the dash that can't be upgraded can be worse than useless. My current vehicle has a GPS unit, but I have yet to bother using it over Apple's, AT&T's, or Google's offerings. Basic functionality is important... leave the doodads to the doodad makers.

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 3 months ago | (#45880817)

Automakers have a lot of economic disinterest in adequate security measures:

1: Once the vehicle is purchased, aftermarket updates are a cost center.

Not as big of a cost center as warranty fixes and recalls are... Just make sure enough vulnerability testing gets done in the first 3 years/36,000 miles!

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880719)

A car's lifetime? I couldn't get acceptable updates from Verizon/Google/Motorola for a product that Verizon was still selling for premium prices more than 18 months after its release let alone the lifetime of a car.

I know all the mobile carriers do it but I don't want to deal with this kind of thing again. And if it's tied to the phone? What happens if I leave Android(tm) and go to a mod or Apple or WinPhone? I'm not going to be tied into Android(tm)'s culture because my car says so.

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45881007)

So you don't realize that there have been apps for BMW, Mercedes, porsche, etc for years now? That let you do things like rmeote start and unlock/lock your doors/roll up your windows?

Pretty nice technology if you ask me - but only usable if everything is interconnected (thingk CANbus)

You're right, and that's why android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45881351)

The car's entertainment and communications systems should be completely detached from the safety and automotive systems, sharing only a (filtered) power supply.

I have the latest greatest Toyota infotainment system (which is really pretty lame) and their latest GPS (which is absolute and utter crap - it's actually dangerous to follow its instructions) and it's all networked and integrated with the onboard computer systems.

If the "infotainment" system was a completely separate android system the size of two packs of cigarettes, Toyota could offer more value at less cost and create a thriving aftermarket that would drive more sales of their cars.

But I don't think Toyota is smart enough, outside the engine compartment. These are the same people who have been making Priuses for the US market for over ten years, and the instrument cluster still has knobs and indicators that aren't readily visible to a 6' driver. I have to duck and bob to see things in my plug-in model3 just as much as I had to in the 2002 model1. Great drive train, with innovation and ingenuity galore, but utterly horrible driver ergonomics and controls with scads of unnecessary, half-baked antifeatures....

Re:Critical infrastructure - air gap it. (1)

Anti-Social Network (3032259) | about 3 months ago | (#45881981)

Exactly. Give me a secure dock for a Nexus device and call it a day. Auto manufacturers may be the only bunch worse than carriers at updating OS and software elements. I got a Nexus 7 (1st gen) with the express intention of hack-retrofitting a pogo pin dock into the dash and being able to remove the most expensive part and take it with me when I leave the vehicle. It's replaceable, upgrade-able, and has no retarded app availability issues, and comes without the ridiculous price premium. Installed media widget and active visualizer wallpaper; done.

No thanks (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45880305)

I don't need or want a intelligent components when inexpensive, simple, proven and reliable mechanical components have done fine for decades.

Just because you can isn't always a valid reason.

About time (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 3 months ago | (#45880341)

I don't know how many of you it bugged, but it bugged me that the different auto manufacturers were developing their own devices. All that non standardized nonsense would have actually not want to buy one of those vehicles with integrated tablets.

Re:About time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45880373)

This is normal practice and has been since the beginning of electronic components in cars. What company wants to share its secrets with others?

Re:About time (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45880623)

This isn't so much about 'secrets' as 'consumer lock-in'.

The car companies have just been doing it longer than the software companies.

A new excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880379)

I couldn't make it into work today because my car had a kernel panic.

Dear google.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#45880447)

FORCE AT GUNPOINT the following...

1 Easy to use UI for automotive cases. Big fleshy sausage sized buttons on screen, and a default User hard button or communications interface to steering wheel hard buttons.

On screen volume controls are an epic fail, they MUST be physical buttons.

Next, put in place priority levels for apps. I need the radio to have top priority, then navigation, then other stuff. Happy fun app should never be able to override my navigation and cause the unit to lock up due to a bad app. Low priority apps get killed by the OS Violently if they do not instantly respond to a "STFU" request from the OS or the user.

Android on it's own is junk for a car stereo. It's missing a LOT of things that makes it happy in a car environment. such as it should use sram instead of Dram so I can turn off the car and have android sleep in less than .1 seconds, then on startup it wakes and starts running from sram again in that same 0.1 seconds. Using less than 50ma while in sleep mode so the car can sit unused for 2 weeks without killing the battery. No boot times, no shutdown times. it MUST be instant based on power input from the car.

Right now Android is not suited to car use. and when Microsoft designed their AutoPC platform they made all the above failures UI sucked for meaty fingers, long boot and shutdown times, bad device interface design, etc...

Oh thank God (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 3 months ago | (#45880503)

Well, if you needed proof of a higher power then here it is. Standard operating systems in cars are long overdue.

Re:Oh thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882085)

Well, if you needed proof of a higher power then here it is. Standard operating systems in cars are long overdue.

With google+android that means advertising and invasive monitoring in your car eventually. Are you sure you want that? I certainly don't.

Re:Oh thank God (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 3 months ago | (#45883133)

Well, if you needed proof of a higher power then here it is. Standard operating systems in cars are long overdue.

With google+android that means advertising and invasive monitoring in your car eventually. Are you sure you want that? I certainly don't.

With android, you can take control of your car. I have a nice hosts file on my android phone that blocks many ads. If you think there isn't already a great deal of logging going on in modern vehicles you're very mistaken. All that is missing from (some) is the ability to send that data somewhere without wires. Of course most people have cell phones, so there's the cellular location information along with possible GPS data that is being sent.


If you're old school enough not to carry a smartphone for privacy reasons then you aren't likely to be buying a car with android anyway.

I look at it like this. I bought a car in 2012 and paid around $1000 bucks extra for the "navigation" package. When I got to using it I found that the Honda navigation system is so pathetic it's easily outdone by my 5 year old garmin dash-mount gps. With android, I'd just download a different gps app.

Phone Screen mirroring? (1)

Wattos (2268108) | about 3 months ago | (#45880613)

Smartphones and tables are getting this powerfull that it makes much more sense to have a charging station + screen mirroring for your phone.

Those solutions already exist: http://www.customgadz.com/store/ [customgadz.com]

Wouldnt that make life a lot easier?

Re:Phone Screen mirroring? (1)

cesman (74566) | about 3 months ago | (#45880893)

I completely agree.

Automakers, why waste time, effort and money re-engineering around Android and other OSs? With regards to navigation and other functionality (listening to podcasts, streaming music), my Nexus 4 gives me all I need. What I need, is a car that supports the needed Bluetooth profiles, a screen mirror and a good "car mode" app or launcher.

Re:Phone Screen mirroring? (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#45881931)

I completely agree.

Automakers, why waste time, effort and money re-engineering around Android and other OSs?

Humans frequently focus on a single interval of time, but these do not exist in reality. Sometimes a technology will have several milestones or prerequisites prior to adoption; Some along the path are more useful than others, but the aim is to provide at least some usefulness at each juncture. Allow me to expand your mind briefly by increasing your mental interval of consideration: Self Driving Cars.

Airplay-type mirroring with touch and buttons (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#45880917)

The simple solution seems to be mirroring the device onto the car's dash-mounted display and accepting remote touch from the dash display, and, ideally, some kind of button protocol to standardize button interactions.

Presumably you'd want to develop some kind of car-specific mirroring protocol so it would be device agnostic, but that would require device makers to include and support it, although as long as it was a superset of their own mirroring protocols it probably wouldn't be that hard for them to support it.

People are looking at this completely incorrectly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45880945)

Those of us who want "infotainment" systems simply jsut want our car to be able to do what our phone does, with a larger screen so it's not as distracting when we're trying to use it in a split second - i.e. navigation.

I don't want Tom tom. I don't want Garmin. They suck. Their implementations are ridiculously slow. My Nexus 4 (and without even mentioning, my Nexus 5 and Nexus 10) blow all of that hardware out of the water. The only thing those devices DON'T do is integrate well with stereos.

You know how you fix this, auto manufacturers? Put bleeding edge mobile hardware (yes, that's right, Nexus 10 guts!) inside the car! No optical media player - because people don't need or want them. Let me pay $10 a month foa data connection, or just pack wifi in the device so I can use my Nexus 5 cell connection for streaming media AND GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE NAVIGATION WHICH IS ALWAYS UPDATED AND I DON'T HAVE TO SPEND MONEY FOR.

It's not hard. This problem doesn't have to be re-solved. Why aftermarket headunit companies (Yeah, I'm talking about you Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, Parrot and all you others who can't see to implement Android in any intelligent way) can't do this correctly is beyond me. There's going to be some dipshit faggotass who says "I don't want a quad core computer in my car", but fuck them. I want my car to provide my music and maps to me PROPERLY and not half assed.

Here's a bright idea... (2)

VFA (1064176) | about 3 months ago | (#45881349)

How about car manufacturers provide an option for NO computer in the car? My newest vehicle is a 1998 Volvo S70, but if I were to buy a new car I would be attracted to a NO COMPUTER option and a $2000 savings. I really have not used GPS or a smartphone in my car ever and I want to keep it that way. If I really wanted a computer in my car, I would much more appreciate an interface such as OBDII (OBDIII?) that expanded access and control to things like climate control and audio system. I could then choose my device (and OS) and connect to the car using an app written for that device to interface with cars. This, of course would make car dealers very unhappy. How else can they charge $900 for GPS maps update then? We as consumers must clamor for no hardware from auto maker other than the standard interface to have some basic control over the vehicle. Then BYODevice and BYOApp and you're off. That would be truly open, everything else is a lock-in. Perhaps I am just old fashioned, but in-car infotainment is a recipe for disaster on the roads anyway. But that's a whole other discussion.

Re:Here's a bright idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45882051)

I agree, I have enough craplets running on my haveheld devices I don't need them in the car.
Just give me a decent radio that rocks and plays OGG files from flash media.

Even stuff not controlling the car... (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 3 months ago | (#45881673)

...would be a nice start.

I'd be happy if they could get kenwood, alpine, and other aftermarket head unit manufacturers on board. But these guys hate open systems. Friggin' pioneer wants around $300+ just for a navigation add on, last I checked.

Automotive engineers hate electrical engineers ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 months ago | (#45882351)

Some people talk about automotive technology turn over time frames being 10 years and the electronic industry technology turn over period being 18 months to be the fundamental reason for automobile infotainment systems sucking big time. Add to it corporations thinking, "they bought our car, now we will make handsome profits by making them pay through their nose for map updates and this and that". But root cause of the problem is even more fundamental than this.

Basically automotive engineers, especially the IC engine worshiping kind, hate electrical engineering. They have been playing in the pissing contest of 0 to 60 time, and quarter mile time since 1930s. Their game is strapping heavier and heavier, increasingly powerful IC engines on to piddly little frames that can hardly hold the huge engines in. Then they go to track after track, magazine after magazine touting their cars and the 5.4 sec and 4.8 sec times.

But the IC engine is fundamentally unsuitable for automobiles. Their engines can not pull a car from rest. They have come up with frustratingly complex set of gears and clutches and "hydromatic" torque converters and slip disks and this and that to get the car to go to 0 to 2 mph. From 2 or 5 or 7 mph they can accelerate it well. But even there if they just used an IC engine running at constant speed to turn a generator and drive the car through electric motors they could have won their quarter mile races and 0 to 60 times nicely. It might not be economical, it might not make consumer grade, but in their concept cars, in their brand image cars and the super luxury segment where cost does not matter, they could have tried it. But they did not. It is not that the concept is unknown. Diesel electric locomotives have been in operation since 1950s. In fact the steam engines were replaced by diesel electric locomotives so fast, many steam locomotives made by Baldwin Loco Works, Philadelphia went straight from production line to scrap yard! Seeing the enormous torque these electric motors were delivering did not inspire even one auto engineers to try to have a flag ship concept car that would see if an electric motor would help them in their pissing contests. It took an outsider Musk who is not afraid of electricity to show them what an electric motor could do in a car with Tesla.

When they did not even understand electrical technology well, why would they do well with electronics?

Tizen anyone? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 3 months ago | (#45883141)

Tizen already does it for some time. There were already a number of Tizen release - for IVI.

I think Google has recently read a press release about Tizen on mobiles. They have looked it up and found out that it is already available and used in IVI market for few years now.

Or, the claimed "Android App compatibility" Tizen 3.0 feature might have gotten them worrying. So they have decided to jump on it before it gets too big.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...