Forward-looking: Google's tendrils of influence have reached just about every industry by now, but the tech giant is making an even bigger push into the automotive market today. Starting in 2021, car manufacturing giant General Motors (GM) will use Google's Android Automotive (which is not the same thing as the mobile-focused Android Auto) OS to power its in-car displays.
This news was first reported by CNBC. According to the outlet, this integration could be a win-win situation for both Google and GM. Google benefits by spreading Android to a wider audience, and GM benefits by catering to what their customers already want.
In many ways, in-car versions of mobile operating systems offer a far better experience than built-in alternatives. That's one of the reasons Android Auto and Apple CarPlay receivers have become so popular.
To be clear, GM's "infotainment" systems will continue to contain the company's own apps and services like before (perhaps with a few exceptions where compatibility becomes an issue). GM is also likely to adjust the OS to fit its specific design and functionality needs.
However, the key difference here is that Android features – such as Google Assistant, Maps, smart home control, and more – will now be available from the get-go, and won't require any extra work on the part of GM or drivers. You won't need to hook up a receiver, and you won't need to use your smartphone just to access Google apps.