It appears that Android is making its way through the automobile industry with the new Android Auto. Google has recently announced at I/O 2016 that Android Auto will be much better than before, with features including the wireless mode.
Besides the mysterious “OEM” tab, which has a vehicle gauge looking icon, Android Auto’s interface has had four other tabs such as media, home, navigation, and telephony. Until now, the “OEM” tab had no other function than providing an exit out to the standard infotainment interface of the vehicle.
However, Google has finally found another use for this tab. Hyundai and Honda presented a few functions of this tab at I/O 2016. Honda showed how primary vehicle statuses like oil change and tire pressure could be monitored, whereas Hyundai demonstrated the integration of its BlueLink vehicle diagnostics and suite of services like error code definitions, braking habits, and gas mileage.
Nevertheless, a connected app or the existing head unit of the car can already provide you with this information regarding your vehicle. Still, it is important to mention that car manufacturers allow vehicle data to be introduced into the Android Auto app, but in a highly restricted and very limited style.
Moreover, both Hyundai and Honda hold full custody of any data regarding the vehicle registered in Android Auto, and that information is available only to the apps Hyundai and Honda will release on the Play Store.
Plus, Android Auto is not an operating system, meaning that restrictions have the sole purpose of protecting a single Google app’s experience. This tight control is a clue leading to the fact that OEMs like Hyundai and Honda are in the process of expanding their applications into the Auto experience.
Furthermore, it allows carmakers to corner the Auto data experience of the vehicle in the way Google and they decide to present it, and everyone already knows that is crucial for automakers to control their products.
Even if the progress is not that huge, it still shows that the level of cooperation between Google and carmakers has increased. After all, Google targets to dominate the car industry with full Android auto apps that will facilitate and improve every aspect that the big companies wish to develop.