Feeds

Google sets sights on the dashboard

General Motors in Android pitch

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google is reportedly in talks with General Motors about putting Android into cars, allowing remote unlocking and startup while rendering GM's OnStar product redundant.

Motor Trend, reporting the talks, reckons that last part might prove a sticking point for the companies, as OnStar has been quite a success for GM. But the additional functionality enabled by integrating Android could provide a response to the Microsoft/Ford offering, MyFord, which has proved surprisingly popular.

MyFord uses Microsoft's SYNC technology - basically a Windows Embedded desktop behind the steering wheel. In January the companies added touch controls and announced that MyLincoln would come as standard from next year.

Electronic Dashboard

The MyFord electronic dashboard

In addition to the usual information one might want while driving a car, MyFord (MyLincoln, MyMercury etc) can show cover-flow-style music listings and satellite navigation, all with Bluetooth integration. It even has a keyboard port and a web browser - though wisely the last two are only usable when the automatic gearbox is set to park.

What MyFord doesn’t have is connectivity - it can operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot but you'll need to fit a USD dongle for the backhaul, and map updates have to be carried out to the car on an SD Card. We can't imagine Google would be interested in such a disconnected model, which is where GM could differentiate itself.

GM already offers wireless connectivity to its cars, though the OnStar service. OnStar is focused on alerting the emergency services in case of an accident, but can also provide directions and comes with a CDMA cellular connection. It's hard to see GM walking away from OnStar, so an Android-powered OnStar+ is more likely.

Car dashboards are the latest battleground for operating system dominance, as demonstrated by RIM's recent acquisition of QNX, which should see Blackberrys slipping behind the wheel.

It makes sense for Android to aim at that space too, and the mind boggles at the amount of data Google could gather if it were allowed free rein inside a car. GM probably won't allow that, but it will be interesting to see how much information drivers will be willing to give up in exchange for an electronic dashboard. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.