BMW Will Integrate Android Automotive Without Google’s Help
BMW has announced plans to incorporate Google’s Android Automotive platform into some of its vehicles for the first time. The carmaker will embed the operating system into those cars through BMW OS 8 beginning in 2023 in addition to the Intelligent Personal Assistant built by BMW in a partnership with auto voice AI mainstay Cerence.
Android Automotive is a fairly flexible system designed by Google to be adaptable to a wide range of cars, so BMW’s decision to integrate it into some of its cars without turning to Google for help makes sense. BMW’s approach to AI has long combined its own voice assistant as well as the option to use others. The company started integrating Google Assistant in 2017, even before launching its own brand, while Alexa became an option in 2018. BMW was the first company to add Cerence’s driver-customized wake word feature, while BMW i Ventures has previously invested in audio tech developer DSP Concepts.
“We are integrating the best aspects of all worlds – that could be our own in-house developments, Open Source or commercial software products, depending on what the specific solution looks like,” BMW senior vice president Stephan Durach said. “We make sure our customers always enjoy a unique, customized digital experience in their vehicle,” according to the lead developer for the digital driving experience”
On the other hand, that choice will likely limit access to the Google apps associated with Android Automotive like Google Maps or the Play Store. Instead, BMW drivers will have access to the Faurecia Aptoide Automotive App Store after BMW inked a deal earlier this year to incorporate it into an Android OS rather than connect directly to Google’s portfolio products.
“Our Faurecia Aptoide solution already used in 3 million vehicles has the ambition to shape the onboard infotainment experience,” Faurecia Clarion managing director Ralf Drauz said at the time. “We are excited to provide our apps solution to a renowned automobile manufacturer such as the BMW Group.”