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Shortly ahead of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), web behemoth Google announced this morning the Open Automotive Alliance – an enthusiast group of tech and auto companies like GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai, and Nvidia.

But what’s their commonality? They all want to put Google’s popular mobile operating system, Android, into cars.

And though the past few years have seen exponential improvements in the technology we use every day, including cars and phones and tablets, the two industries have been very hesitant to collaborate. Of course, we’ve seen navigation systems, DVD players, and backseat screens enter more and more of our vehicles over the past decade, automotive companies have been very cautious against adding new software that isn’t proven perfectly safe and secure. That gap has largely been filled by middleware like MyFord Touch and other in-car systems.

The overarching plan of the OAA is to take Google’s Android OS and bring it into your car, and bring the era of the “connected car” ever closer to fruition – and potentially rid the world of middling in-car software.

But the OAA is not the first group to huddle together to tackle the issue – in 2009, the Genivi Alliance was formed between BMW, GM, Intel and others to create a Linux-based OS for vehicles. Their efforts proved modest at best.

How exactly the group plans to take this ambitious endeavor forward remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised if we hear more over the next week as CES 2014 marches on.


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