The Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), the Google initiative to boost the use of Android devices in cars, is making headway with Volkswagen and Volvo the latest to join. Google’s alliance, established in January, now has 35 members, including most of the world’s major car brands.
Android is the dominant operating systems for smartphones worldwide. LG is joining Google’s Auto Alliance, as well.
Kia, whose parent company Hyundai is a founding OAA member, said its infotainment integration will be one of the first products to emerge from the alliance. Starting in 2015, the Korean brand will offer Android Auto in select models in the US.
Google’s attempts at “owning” a car’s dashboard will compete with Apple as well. Volvo will let both devices be seamlessly connected. Volvo reaffirmed that all models based on its new scalable product architecture will offer Apple CarPlay access as well. And Audi announced this week it will integrate both the Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into its Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI).
The mapping industry got a jolt last week when Google purchased startup Skybox Imaging for $500 million. The acquisition has the potential to completely redefine expectations for online maps, with every city, street, even individual home or business viewable in near real-time.
In November, Skybox sent its first Earth observation satellite, SkySat-1, on a Russian Dnepr rocket. Skybox provides sub-meter imagery as well as 90-second videos from its network of satellites.
The U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to bring vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication to lower accident rates. But when and how this will happen remains unclear.
The main hurdle, according to Bloomberg, is the industry’s safety and reliability standards, which far exceed those for computers or phones. Instead, most of the electronic components are provided by longtime suppliers, like Freescale, Renesas Electronics and STMicroelectronics, which have proven track records.
Intel’s general manager for datacenters explains how the chipmaker plans to crunch boatloads of data spewing from sensors. They’ll compete with Qualcomm’s 4G LTE, WiFi and DSRC solutions for connected cars and Nvidia’s Jetson platform.
The market for automotive chips is projected to grow 6.1 percent to $27.9 billion this year, according to IHS Corp. Within that business, sales of chips for automated driver-assistance systems, or ADAS, will increase an average of 13 percent a year through 2020, making it the fastest-growing area.