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Google and chip maker Nvidia are partnering with a number of automakers to create a new group called the Open Automotive Alliance. The newfound partners will focus on bringing the Android ecosystem to in-car entertainment systems in a way that's tailored for vehicles.
Alliance members include Google, Nvidia, Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai according to a press release on the matter. More automakers are expected to be added over time but the immediate focus is to create Android features that will allow developers to create "car modes" for their apps.
If you're thinking an Android in-car entertainment system sounds like yet another distraction for those behind the wheel, think again. The Alliance has been in contact with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make sure new systems are safe for in-case use.
The Alliance is Google's answer to a similar initiative in the pipeline from Apple. Back at the Worldwide Developers Conference last June, Apple introduced a program called iOS in the Car that will allow iOS devices to work seamlessly with manufacturers' built-in entertainment systems. Those that have shown interest in the program include Acura, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Nissan and Toyota, just to name a few.
The first vehicles with integrated Android systems are expected by the end of the year. Similarly, we can expect to see iOS in the Car show up sometime in 2014 as well.