Google will work with Renault -Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world's largest vehicle alliance by selling vehicles, to place infotainment systems based on Android in millions of cars, the companies told the Wall Street Journal. The infotainment system and dashboard screens of the alliance will use Android and start in 2021.
Drivers can access Google's maps, app store and voice assistant from their vehicle dashboards. The new collaboration is a huge step forward for Google's ambition to get its operating system into more cars (the alliance sold a combination of 5.5 million vehicles in the first half of this year, with which Volkswagen and Toyota Motor leading the way).
The alliance executives have informed WSJ that they have decided on the collaboration because many of their customers are used to using Google Maps and other apps and prefer to stick to them instead of using software developed by car manufacturers during the to drive.
Car executives are also more comfortable with Google, making the software open source in 2007. Kal Mos, the alliance's vice president of connected vehicles, told the Wall Street Journal that "trust has been built up in recent years".
By working with Google, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi increases the ante on rival car manufacturers to work with technical companies instead of developing their own software ecosystems. Although this can take over customers, it also means that there is a potential waiver of control over valuable user data to companies such as Google and Apple. Moss told WSJ that Google has access to data collected through the in-car apps, but must first request permission from the user.
Other car manufacturers who already integrate Google apps into their vehicles are Volkswagen, which put Google Earth in the car's car navigation system, and Volvo Cars, which said its next in-car infotainment system will run on Android.