Products with Google’s Android Auto software are just getting ready to roll out, allowing users to pair their phone with supported in-car systems to play music, make or take phone calls, or use turn-by-turn navigation while driving.
But Reuters reports Google is already working on next-gen software that could let you do those things without using your phone at all.
The next major version of Google is code-named Android M for now, although it’s likely that Google will pick a dessert that starts with the letter M by the time the software is ready to go in about a year. Maybe we’ll see Android 5.0 Marzipan, M&Ms, or Milk Chocolate?
Anyway, Reuters cites sources close to the project who say that Android would be integrated directly into the in-vehicle navigation and entertainment systems. This would give the software more access to a car’s hardware including fuel gauges and other sensors. But by connecting to your Google account, you’d still presumably be able to sync data between your phone and car so that, for instance, your Spotify preferences would be available on both.
Reuters says before Android is ready to become the default software in cars though, it would need to be able to power up instantly instead of taking 30 seconds to perform a cold boot. Google will also have to convince car makers to adopt the platform — the company faces competition from Apple and others… not to mention the car makers themselves who ultimately get to choose which software to include in their automobiles.