BMW Announces its Vehicles Will Support Android Auto in Mid-2020
As smartphones are integrated into people's lives, more automakers are offering wireless connectivity options, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for drivers who want to use all of their favorite apps on the go and drive with less distraction. BMW is the latest automaker to announce support for Android Auto wirelessly, making it easier for drivers to use thier favorite Android apps via the vehicle's infotainment screens.
German BMW announced that starting next year its vehicles will come with Android Auto wireless support, so drivers won't need to sync their smartphones or plug in a USB cable each time they get into their vehicle. The wireless connection makes linking up an Android smartphone a simple process.
BMW said that Android Auto wireless support will be available in its vehicle lineup beginning in mid-2020.
"We are excited to work with BMW to bring wireless Android Auto to their customers worldwide next year. The seamless connection from Android smartphones to BMW vehicles allows customers to hit the road faster while maintaining access to all of their favourite apps and services in a safer experience." Patrick Brady, Vice President of Engineering, Google said in a statement.
With wireless support for BMW vehicles, customers can connect their Android smartphones to their vehicle's infotainment screen and use popular Google apps like Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant.
Android Auto will also be integrated directly into BMW's fully digital cockpit, meaning that customers can view all important information not just on the central Control Display but also in the instrument cluster's Info Display and the Head Up Display (HUD), where it appears directly in the driver's driving direction so they can keep their eyes on the road.
BMW said that many of its customers have pointed out the importance of having Android Auto inside a BMW for using Android smartphone features safely without being distracted from the road, according to Peter Henrich, Senior Vice President Product Management BMW.
BMW will be demonstrate Android Auto for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in early January. It will be available for customers in 20 countries starting in July 2020 for all vehicles with BMW Operating System 7.0, which currently includes the X5 SUV, 3 Series, 8 Series and Z4 models.
In addition to supporting Android Auto wirelessly in the vehicle, BMW drivers must have a compatible smartphone that supports wireless connectivity to the vehicle. Current models include the Pixel and Pixel XL running Android 8.0 or higher, or many of the popular Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 phone models.
In May, Google previewed a redesigned version of Android Auto. Among the changes are an updated Google Assistant with "Driving Mode" and a cleaner user interface requiring less steps to navigate to a users favorite apps. Google Assistant's driving mode will launch automatically when a user's phone is connected to a vehicle's bluetooth simply by saying "Hey Google, let's drive."
In addition to Android Auto, Google is working with automakers to embed Google's new more comprehensive Android Automotive OS system into a vehicle during assembly, so drivers can access or install their favorite Android apps without a cell phone.
The new Android Automotive OS will come standard next year in the Polestar 2, a new model from Volvo's electric car brand Polestar.
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