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FCA, Google collaborate on Android car OS

William Payne
January 5, 2017
 
Google and Fiat Chrysler have deepened their collaboration and are developing a car operating system built around Google's Android operating system. The collaboration involves a reboot of Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect operating system rebuilt around Android. The collaboration marks a step towards Google developing a fully fledged Android car operating system. For Fiat Chrysler, using an Android based car operating system is likely to bring significant advantages in terms of app availability, security, integration of features with smart home, office, communications and a host of other Android hosting applications, cost of development, and time to market.

“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” says Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”
 
Visitors at CES can see one-on-one demonstrations of the Uconnect system powered by the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, which includes core infotainment features such as radio and comfort controls.
 
According to Fiat Chrysler, Android based Uconnect shows  a seamless integration with Google Assistant, Google Maps and popular Android apps like Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.
 
“Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way,” said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. “This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.”