Toyota Rumoured to be Considering Android for Future Models
Toyota is rumoured to be about to start adding a Google Android function to its vehicles, making it the second largest automotive group to do so after Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi made its announcement last week, and this could come as early as October of this year.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Switches to Google’s Android Infotainment System; Tom Tom Takes a Beating.
Toyota already had been adding Apple CarPlay to its vehicles, but to date had shied away from adding the Android counterpart. Both systems have proven very popular with the consumer as they import familiar smartphone applications into unfamiliar and sometimes confusing car infotainment systems. Both Apple and Android systems allow users to access their smartphone via the car’s inbuilt touchscreen and buttons, and the familiarity apparently leads to lower driver distractions; well, at least according to the American Automobile Association.
Researchers found that smartphone-based systems took about 24% less time to make a call and 31% less time when using a navigation system, so less time looking down and more time paying attention to the road.
Of course, like many other manufacturers, Toyota has been reluctant to allow Apple or Google to have valuable real-estate on board, preferring to develop its own rather clunky system. Initially, Toyota plumped for the Linux-based system but this has proven unpopular with its customers and as of January of this year, started to add Apple CarPlay to its vehicles.
For now, both Apple and Android are limited to an Apple- or Google-specific wrap on the onboard entertainment systems, but Google is known to be a lot more ambitious than this. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has already signed agreements with the likes of Volvo, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to create a complete entertainment system. Of course, if the prediction of future mobility comes true and we are all being whisked about our way in autonomous cars, this then becomes a really high-stakes game as we shift our focus from driving to being entertained.