Audi and Google are reportedly joining forces to take on Apple in the battle for smart car supremacy. The automaker and search giant are rumored to be preparing an announcement for CES 2014, where they could debut a new infotainment system based on Google’s Android platform. According to The Wall Street Journal, the setup will allow Audi drivers to access apps similar to those currently available on Android smartphones and tablets.
The move would serve to open up a new front in the rivalry between Google and Apple. The iPhone-maker has already teamed with nearly a dozen automakers to provide its Siri Eyes Free mode, which allows users to access Apple’s Siri from the dashboard, in a variety of vehicles. Currently Chevy, Honda and Volkswagen offer the functionality, with other manufacturers expected to add the feature in the near future.
Google’s solution, however, appears to take the relationship between tech giant and automaker a step further by allowing cars to run Android apps. Like Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode, Google’s solution will likely accept voice commands so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.
Beyond serving as a new battleground between Google and Apple, the Audi and Android team-up could serve to benefit consumers as a whole. The current connected car landscape is overwhelmingly fragmented with each automaker offering its own proprietary infotainment system. With Google entering the fold, the market could soon see a single in-car app system that is compatible across different makes and models.
This isn’t the first time Audi has made a splash at CES. Last year, the company unveiled its self-parking vehicle prototype, as well as details about its fully autonomous vehicle. We’ll find out more regarding the automaker’s plans next week.