The Google I/O developer’s conference today saw Google debut Android Auto, the company’s answer to Apple’s CarPlay. The contextually aware platform is designed to bring the Android experience to an automobile’s in-dash infotainment system.
Google stressed that Android Auto is “completely voice enabled,” relying on Google Now much the way CarPlay relies on Siri for voice commands. Google also noted that it’s able to offer a completely personalized experience that is mobile, working with any Android Auto compatible car as it is reliant on an Android phone.
The system offers deep integration with Google Maps, providing drivers with access to Google Maps features such as local search, live traffic information, and turn-by-turn navigation.
The on stage demo of the system included the planning of a trip to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, as it provided the museum’s hours, before being instructed to navigate to the museum. Also demoed was the composing and sending of messages completely via voice.
Much like Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto integrates with several app partners, providing music and other entertainment and information, such as Pandora, Spotify, MLB at Bat, iHeart Radio, and more.
Google says Android will be available in 25 different car brands, with the first cars available for sale before the end of the year. Google also announced 40 new partners for its Open Automotive Alliance group which is committed to bringing Android to cars in 2014. An Android Auto SDK will also be available in the coming weeks so developers can begin creating apps for the platform.