With the CarPlay crisis looming, Google is making a big move

Apple's car building is a good topic, and it is also a topic that is easy to bring traffic.

I don't know how many times you have been attracted to various articles by the conspicuous titles such as "Apple Car Concept Map" and "Apple Car Mass Production Time", and the high probability of waiting for you is a crudely made one with a big Apple Logo The concept image, perhaps faked with a Tesla Model 3 .

▲Even if Tim Cook is here today , this is Tesla

To be honest, is it annoying? It's endless.

There are so many cutting-edge automotive topics worth paying attention to in this world, and there are so many people and brands that aim to make your travel more convenient. However, many eyes are focused on innovations that have not been innovated for a long time, and have fallen behind the "current version". CarPlay, which has nothing to do with Apple's cars, is not fair .

Google probably thinks so too.

After all, Google's Android Automotive, an operating system and platform directly based on vehicle-mounted hardware, has actually "boarded" and started to serve the intelligent cockpit ecosystem.

"Action" may be more worthy of our attention. As for Apple's carol, there will naturally be a lot of cars coming out-if they are really built.

Google's ecological ambitions for the car

What is Android Automotive?

Google's explanation for this is:

Android Automotive is an operating system and platform that runs directly on the hardware in the vehicle. It is a highly customizable full-stack open source platform that provides powerful technical support for the infotainment experience. It supports apps built for Android, as well as apps built for Android Auto.

To put it more simply, Android Automotive is the Android on the car . It is installed directly based on the car hardware and does not need a mobile phone to run. It is a comprehensive intelligent car system.

This is also the biggest difference between it and Apple CarPlay and its own Android Auto – the latter two need to be connected through the user's mobile phone, and the essence is still based on the mobile phone.

This also means that the functions of Android Automotive are more comprehensive, and information, entertainment, and function control can be covered, not just limited to a small screen in the central control.

On the contrary, it can take over almost all the screens in your car, from the central control screen to the instrument panel, and the well-deserved core competitiveness of car manufacturing today: the infotainment system.

From the user's point of view, this car has entered the category of "smart" .

You can install the Android APP in Android Automotive, or you can give instructions through Google Assistant, such as adjusting the temperature of the air conditioner with voice and adjusting the seat position on the car. At the same time, the system can also obtain a series of driving-related data such as fuel consumption, power consumption, braking, kinetic energy recovery, etc., so as to show you everything that happens in the car.

As an independent intelligent system, of course, you can also link with the mobile phone in your hand to remotely control the car through the mobile phone.

In addition, car companies can also further in-depth customization based on Android Automotive, from visual design to the layout of practical functions can be reconstructed.

▲Native Android Automotive is presented in the form of tile cards

Is this smell a bit familiar? That's right, this is the same way as various mobile phone OS customized based on mobile phone Android. And Google's goal is also very clear, which is to occupy the important position of car-machine interaction at the moment when the wave of intelligence is flocking to the automotive field .

After all, the slogan "Software-Defined Smart Cars" has been shouted loudly for a long time.

Sima Zhao is darkening Chen Cang

Everyone knows what Google is thinking.

In the past decade, Android's huge mobile phone market share has brought huge profits and fame to Google. Compared with mobile phones, the intelligence of automobiles can be described as a vast world with great potential. As long as you preemptively occupy the bottom layer of the intelligent system, you can continue to be an "industry talker". Smart people can understand this.

And Google's biggest competitor in this field, Apple, is really smart.

▲ New CarPlay also emphasizes taking over multiple screens

Apple is very smart, and they also know that intelligence sweeping cars is a general direction, and they know how important the role of software is in intelligent cars, so they decided: we will build our own cars, and at the same time develop a new generation of car-based CarPlay.

So in 2023, when the crowd is competing, what about Apple's car? Haven't seen it yet. What about the new generation of CarPlay? Haven't seen it yet .

It’s not to question Apple’s software and hardware development capabilities, but now that Android Automotive has successfully entered the car, the new generation of CarPlay is still stuck at Apple’s WWDC Developers Conference in June 2022. Even if everything goes well, it will not be released until this year. The actual deployment will not be completed until the end of the year.

Apple's slow development progress and strong closure have given Google enough time and market space to complete the layout. At present, Volvo, Polestar, GM, Ford, Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi and other manufacturers have joined the Android Automotive camp. Google's strategy is to attract traditional car companies without sufficient software development experience to join.

Among them, Volvo/Polestar has placed a heavy bet on Android Automotive, and the current new version of the car machine is already Android Automotive system.

On the other side, the drama of "dropping the fruit into the valley" is being staged in the Apple camp.

At last year's Apple WWDC Developers Conference, Apple showed a list of car companies that support the new generation of CarPlay, and BMW was not among them. It didn't take long for BMW to announce that it will be equipped with Android Automotive on some vehicles in the future. You know, when the first generation of CarPlay was launched, BMW was the first car company to support it. You see, this is another story of a first love that can't make it to the end.

And the car companies on the list are not very safe.

For example, Porsche, with thick eyebrows and big eyes, is now flirting with Google. Porsche said recently that it is exploring the possibility of cooperation with Google. On one side is the hot Roujiamo that was handed over to the hand, and on the other side is the cake that is still drawn on the screen. Under such circumstances, it may be really difficult not to eat it while it is hot.

Who owns the soul of the car in the age of intelligence?

Since it is a software-defined car, it is not an exaggeration to say that the car machine is the soul of the modern car. But who owns this soul now is not easy to say.

Not to mention Google, which is far away, even if you turn your attention back to China, there are not too many brands that want to declare the ownership of the soul of the car.

Under Yu Chengdong's leadership, Huawei, which is "far ahead" all the way, installed the Hongmeng system on the car early. Meizu, which was acquired by Geely, has recently been busy bringing the highly anticipated Flyme Auto to the upcoming Lynk & Co 08.

The new force Yusanjiali Weipeng also has self-developed or Android-based ideal Li OS, Weilai Aspen/Banyan, and Xiaopeng Xmart OS systems. Car companies with software research and development capabilities know the importance of holding their souls in their own hands .

Self-developed car-machine system means that sufficient research and development strength and long-term and large investment are required. If it is not done well, it may fall into a pit. But an efficient and unique car machine is equally attractive for brand development and user experience. And for car companies that intend to fully control the right to speak in the smart cockpit, this is the path that must be taken.

For car companies that do not focus on the smart cockpit field, or are purely powerless about the smart cockpit (usually the latter), anyway, the soul is worthless, and it is handed over to Google and Apple, which professionally recycle the soul, in exchange for one that is at least eye-catching. The smart cockpit in the past is also a good home.

For users, we should only look at the results, not the process. After all, as the party who pays, we should be tougher in thinking, and we will use whichever is easy to use. As for how it is realized, it is not for us to manage.

But the current auto market is very similar to the mobile phone market ten years ago, a market that is vigorous and young, with both opportunities and risks.

Ten years ago, in 2013, Apple launched iOS 7, flying all the way towards flat design; Google brought Android 4.4, gradually laying down the operating logic of Android in the future; and Alibaba, in that year, launched the final crash Disillusioned Alibaba Cloud OS…

The situation is changing again, and this seems to be another intersection of "choosing iOS or Android", but the replacement cycle of the car is longer, you have to be more cautious, don't look left and right for Android, and finally choose an Alibaba Cloud OS .

Be natural.

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