Reuters has an exclusive report that Google’s next version of Anroid will be car ready for use without a phone. “Allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones“.
I have a hard time seeing this happening. For a number of reasons. Cars, like the iPhone, are integrated devices. Their value is in the combination of various hardware parts and increasingly of the software.
Car companies are well capitalized and self contained. They only allow silent sub contractors to build their components with rare exceptions. And the exceptions are usually when they own them or looking for upscale cache.
Like the retailers and the credit card companies didn’t embrace Google Wallet, the (very) entrenched car powers will keep Google at bay. I can think of a number of compelling reasons and I am sure that there are more.
1)They want to control the total car experience. A Ford is a Ford and Honda is a Honda. Putting Android at the center of that experience will reduce their uniqueness.
2)They want to control the data.They have all learned by now that data is valuable. Even if it isn’t monetized the way that Google monetizes it, they wouldn’t want to lose it or even share it.
3)They don’t trust Google. Google clearly has designs in the car market with self driving cars. Why would they let a potential competitor into their cockpit?
4)Rather than pick a winner they would prefer to
remain agnostic between Apple and Android and allow their customers to pick by allowing attachment.
5)Complexity and Reliability issues. Reliabilty and fit for service issues are huge in the car industry. Sometimes having more features just isn’t the right solution. From the NYT: “A survey that AutoTrader conducted this year found that nearly half of shoppers will walk away from a vehicle they otherwise like if the “technology is perceived as too difficult to use.””
6)Security issues. I have trouble seeing how a general, open source framework can achieve the level of security needed. Not that car systems are all that secure currently, but having one car OS at scale would become an incredibly tempting target. Imagine someone holding your car hostage until you submitted payment?
Ford recently jettisoned Microsoft in favor of QNX OS from Blackberry for many of the above reasons. It’s one thing partnering with Blackberry and quite another to do it with Google.
Do you think Google can succeed with an in dash version of Android?