CES 2014: Google’s Open Automotive Alliance Takes Shape With Audi Tablet

Yesterday, Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance, which promised partnerships with the likes of Audi, GM, and Honda, and lent credence to the theories that automotive dashboards are a new major target area for technological development. Google is trying to meet that gap with Android: there will be Android-powered dashboards in cars as well as improvements to Android smartphones geared toward making them more car-friendly. At press time yesterday, it was unclear what those developments would look like, but today we have a very concrete example: Audi’s Smart Display. Clocking in at 10.2 inches, it’s an Android tablet that lives in your car and is designed with passengers in mind. At this point, the tablet appears to act as an Android-based command center for everything in the car, from Wi-Fi connection to media, navigation, and even temperature settings. It’s designed to sustain crashes, and can withstand the high temperatures of being left in a boiling car all afternoon on a summer’s day. This is but one manifestation of the Alliance, and expect more deep Android integration into these vehicles in the coming days, months, and years. The era of the connected car may very well be a physical reality, finally.