BMW is the latest automaker to select the Android Automotive backbone for its in-car infotainment systems.
Like Volvo and GM, this means that future BMWs will feature an in-car version of Android that provides drivers access to Google Maps, the Play Store and other apps like Spotify right from the centre console. Think of this like regular Android. Google licenses it out, and other companies like Samsung and OnePlus change the look and add a few features. Android Automotive is like that but for cars.
It's also worth noting that it is different from the Android Auto version that runs off of your phone. That version competes with CarPlay, but the new version is built right into the car, so as long as you're signed in with your Google account, you don't even need your phone.
That said, the mobile phone version will likely still be accessible. However, I've found that in cars that use Android Automotive, having access to Google Maps and Spotify is enough to keep me from plugging in and using my phone.
BMW plans to start implementing its version of Android with the BMW Operating System 8, that's set to launch sometime in March 2023, according to The Verge. This all sounds nice, but for now, BMW will continue with its Linux-based system in some cars and will only install the Android software in some new models.
Hopefully, the German automaker sorts this out in a year or two and can settle on one ecosystem. It's also worth noting that BMW will likely need to figure out a way to work with the new Apple CarPlay that was announced at WWDC 2022.
Overall, it's exciting to see another major automaker adopt Android, and I can't wait to see what BMW's take on Android Automotive looks like.
Image Source: BMW
Source: The Verge