Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA have formed the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), in an effort to build a common automobile computing platform, according to Ars Technica. The plan is to bring Android to cars starting in 2014. The alliance’s mission parallels that of the Open Handset Alliance that worked to make Android prolific in the mobile space.
NVIDIA’s role is drawing special interest, given the company’s recent launch of the Tegra K1 Next-Gen Quad-Core processor and its potential for application in cars. According to Ars Technica, NVIDIA highlighted how such a powerful system-on-a-chip (SoC) could be “used to render near-photo-realistic dials for a dashboard and how well suited those 192 CUDA cores would be for assisting the driver by monitoring the environment for hazards and providing alerts.”
While the alliance’s efforts seem to be an exciting move, skeptics worry about giving any open software control over essential car functions. The OAA says it’s well aware of the concerns, and is working closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address them.
The alliance also says that it hopes to “enable better integration between cars and Android devices, in order to create a safer, car optimized experience,” as well as to eventually “enable the car itself to become a connected Android device.” That could mean the OAA is not so much concerned with building a system that could function like a standalone Android device, but in creating one that acts as a supplement to the one you have now.