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Google and Apple in DRAG RACE: It's fanboi Mercs VS fandroid Audis

Fast and furious firms battle to design dashboard of the future

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CES 2014 Apple and Google are preparing to compete on yet another front. They reportedly plan to race each other to design the world's most powerful smart car dashboard.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show next week, Google isexpected to announce a new tie-up with Audi, which will see Mountain View help to design an in car computer system based on Android.

Google is also slated to reveal further collaborations with other automotive manufacturers to allow drivers and passengers to access the sorts of entertainment, music or navigation apps so familiar to fandroids the world over.

However, Apple is already in pole position in the automobile space and is working with Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler. The fruity firm also helped produce the world's most expensive iPod dock in the form of a Volkswagen iBeetle. Cupertino's "iOS in the car" system was introduced in June 2013 and uses Siri to allow hands-free access to iMessages, Maps and iTunes.

"The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device," said Thilo Koslowski, an Gartner analyst who is an expert in electronics. "Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle."

Drunkards may be pleased to note that both Audi and Ford are expected to demonstrate self-driving cars at the Consumer Electronics Show, although taxi drivers may be less than chuffed. ®

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