Audi's Getting Android, Along With GM, Honda, Hyundai

The most anticipated automotive announcement at CES 2014 will bring Android to your dashboard.

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Google has kicked off press day here at CES 2014 in Las Vegas by announcing that Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and chip manufacturer Nvidia are creating a partnership aimed at bringing Android to your car.

Called the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), it promises that automotive infotainment systems may run on the open-source operating system as soon as 2014.

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The 2014 Kia Soul also features an Android-based infotainment system. View Larger

The idea of Audi bringing Android to the automotive scene was long-rumored ahead of CES. While it was expected that Audi and Google would pair up to bring Android into the car, the inclusion of other partners is something that hadn't hit the rumor mill until today.

The alliance uses a platform that's already familiar to drivers and developers alike, giving automakers access to an open ecosystem and allowing programmers to easily create new apps specifically tailored to in-car use.

When Nvidia revealed its latest chip last night, the Tegra K1, it specifically teased the possibility of cars that could employ Android computing not just for infotainment, but for a host of demanding functions such as driverless travel.

Patrick Brady, Android's director of engineering, wrote in a blog post that OAA would create a "driving-optimized experience," customizing Android to make driving "safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone."

We already saw an Android-powered infotainment system in the 2014 Kia Soul at last year's New York Auto Show, and came away impressed with its speed and customizability. We're hoping to see similar results from the automakers in the Alliance.

Brady said the announcement of OAA was "just the beginning," as other companies are welcome to join. With Apple's promise of iOS in the Car, competition for dashboard real estate may be heating up.

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