Google teams up with automakers to bring Android to cars

Chevrolet Camaro Concept car on display at the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Canada.

Above: Chevrolet Camaro Concept car on display at the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Canada.

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Google thinks it’s time for Android to hit the road.

The American technology giant today announced the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a group focused on bringing the mobile operating system to your dashboard.

Automakers Audi, GM, Honda, and Hyundai, as well as chipmaker Nvidia, are joining up with Google for the OAA’s launch — and the group intends to add more technology and auto industry leaders down the line. The first Android-connected cars are planned for launch by the end of 2014.

Google will work with the car makers “to make driving safer, easier, and more enjoyable,” Patrick Brady, director of Android engineering, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

The group is working to develop new Android features that’ll enable developers to add car modes to their apps. It’s also in contact with government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure the in-car experience is safe.

Android won’t be the only mobile OS on the road this year, though. Back in June, Apple announced an initiative called iOS in the Car, which will see car manufacturers include iOS features like calling, music playback, messaging, and navigation in their vehicle dashboards.

Car manufacturers that have signed up for iOS integration include Chevy, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Kia, Infiniti, Hyundai, Volvo, Jaguar, Porsche, and Acura. (Looks like Honda and Hyundai are hedging their bets.)

Ford, meanwhile, has an in-car computing system called “Sync” that’s based on Microsoft technology.

News of Google’s in-car computing ambitions first came about a week ago, when it was reported that the Mountain View-based company planned to team up with German automaker Audi.

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