Honda uses Google's Android system in its cars
Honda uses Google's Android system in its cars

Google has won the favor of another major automaker to become the default operating system for cars. Honda will soon start bringing cars to market with Google's built-in Android Auto operating system, including voice-activated Google Assistant, Google Maps and other automatically certified Android apps as the standard infotainment system.

Honda's first Android cars will be available in 2022. The Japanese automaker won't say which models it plans to install the new infotainment system first.

"We are working with Google to better integrate its in-car services into our cars," a spokesperson for the Japanese automaker said in an email. Including the ability to use more intuitive features like Google Assistant, Google Maps features, and other in-car apps available through the Google Play Store.

To be clear, Android Automotive is different from Android Auto. The first is the car's default infotainment system, which controls everything from music and navigation to heating and air conditioning. The latter is displayed on the smartphone via the dashboard screen and is a competitor to Apple CarPlay.

Two cars are currently equipped with Android Automotive: the Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge. But Google has made deals with several other automakers. Including Ford, General Motors and the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi alliance. This leads to millions of cars equipped with the default Android operating system in the future.

Honda and Google are working together to develop in-flight connected services


The news of Honda using Android Automotive wasn't too surprising. In fact, the current operating system used by automakers has been using Android for many years.

Honda, along with Audi, Hyundai and Nvidia, has joined the Google-led Open Automobile Alliance, which is focused on integrating Android into in-vehicle infotainment systems.

At first, the automakers seemed intent on alienating the big tech companies. This is to prevent them from using profitable customer data when entering and exiting.

However, Honda has confirmed that by working with Google, it can sell more cars to its customers. Compared to the software currently offered by automakers who prefer a smartphone-like driving experience.

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