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Android Automotive takes center stage as 2nd large...


Today's announcement of Android Automotive coming to thefuture infotainment systems of Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi vehicles furthercements the solution as a strong contender in this space. The Franco-Japaneseautomotive group is the second largest vehicle manufacturer in the world, witha more than 10% market share.

In May of 2017, Google announcedAndroid Automotive. The difference between Android Automotive and "GenericAndroid" is that Android Automotive is directly supported by Google, andwill include features such as the Google Play Store, Google Assistant, and GoogleMaps and feature other Google proprietary apps and APIs. Apps available on theautomotive-centric Google Play store for Android Automotive will includeiHeartRadio, Pandora, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Telegram, WhatsApp, AndroidMessages, Google Play Books, and Google Play Music, with more to come.Automakers will be allowed to 're-skin' the graphical interface of theoperating system as to not lose individual branding of the HMI, like howSamsung and HTC phones have their own unique interfaces, for instance.

With a large potential library ofapps, hardware support, security support, continuous research and development,customer care support and maintenance, Android Automotive will be a formidablechallenger in the automotive space. While OEMs continue to try and buildin-vehicle app ecosystems, there is an open-sourced environment, optimized forthe car, where OEMs can save time and money to deploy.

OEMs will lose some of the UXownership, but gain, ironically, a satisfying UX correlated with the car brand,similar to Android's perception in smartphone markets. This implementation willstill whittle away vehicle brand loyalty, but in a future shared use case, thebrand can make up for it with a premium service experience.

This new embedded operating systemwill debut on Volvo and Audi vehicles by 2020 in select regions, such as the USand Western Europe. Volvo, Audi, Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi, and another largeautomaker, will offer Android Automotive on some of their infotainment headunits in the next two to three years.

Like Android Auto, Android Automotiveis not expected to be available in the Chinese market as services such asGmail, Google.com, YouTube, and the Google Play store aren't available, makingthe relevancy of Android Automotive in the Chinese market moot.

IHS Markit previously forecasted thatapproximately 11 million vehicles globally would have Android Automotive by2024. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announcement boosts that number byapproximately another 1 million units, to 12 million units over the next sixyears. IHS Markit expects Generic Android to remain the dominate player in theinfotainment space over the same time, with Android Automotive comprising only16 percent of total Android volumes in the 2024 sales year.