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Android-Based Infotainment System Coming to Some GM Models by 2016

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/9/2014 Megan Stewart

News about Google's Android Auto has been circulating since earlier this year as an answer to Apple's CarPlay, but Automotive News reports General Motors will move forward with a different Android-based infotainment system for some of its models by 2016. Unlike Android Auto, which essentially just piggybacks on an Android phone's software, this infotainment system would feature a fully integrated Android operating system.

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Supplier Harman International will be responsible for building the new Android-based infotainment system, after winning a $900 million contract from General Motors. However, while GM will be the first company to utilize the new system, Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal said in a recent conference call with AN that other automakers can adopt the technology "one life cycle behind." Chevrolet and Cadillac are expected to be the first vehicles to implement the new system.

To keep the Android-based system up- to- date throughout the vehicle's life cycle, an app store will be set up, letting the infotainment system stay technologically relevant. "Apps will be developed by General Motors, Harman and a bunch of other third parties, not just Google and Apple," said Paliwal. At CES earlier this year, GM announced its plans to launch its AppShop service for current MyLink infotainment systems, which would have provided downloadable third-party apps. In July, GM delayed those plans, claiming the service didn't meet consumer experience expectations.

Chevrolet MyLink Siri© Provided by MotorTrend Chevrolet MyLink Siri

As GM was one of several automakers backing the development of Android Auto, Harman's system will be rolled out alongside the smart phone-based platform. Automotive News says GM will offer both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though the automaker has not specified which models will get what. GM currently offers Apple's Siri Eyes Free system on some models. This system, which helps curb distracted driving by utilizing voice commands, was first introduced on the 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic and 2015 Chevrolet Trax. Thanks to a steering wheel-mounted button, drivers are able to access Siri to perform a number of iPhone features.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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