Google

Google

Audi just became more appealing to technophiles today after the company announced its integration of Google’s Android Auto, which was unveiled today at Google’s I/O annual technologies conference in San Francisco. Like Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto will combine the user’s smartphone with their car’s in-dash infotainment system in a seamless manner that’s conducive for safe driving free of distractions.

Audi’s integration of Android Auto means a lot of new voice controls for Google Play Music, Google Maps, and other functions. Video and multimedia, along with text-rich items won’t be displayed while the car is in motion, but will become available when in Park.

The system comes alive when an Android smartphone is connected to a compatible Audi. A prompt appears asking if the user wants to display their apps through the MMI system. Once chosen to do so, the system basically uses the MMI screen as an interface for the smartphone. Audio streams and microphone inputs are all routed through the car.

What’s more, Audi says the Android Auto system will be available within a number of 2015 model year vehicles, meaning Android Auto-equipped Audis will be roaming the streets starting sometime this fall. Of course Audi ensures that Android Auto-equipped car will not prohibit users from connecting non-Android smartphones like iPhones or Blackberries, but the full functionality of the system won’t be accessible.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s Android Auto Connection.

We all know Google and how heavily we rely upon it for information gathering. Constant updates and improvements keep Google ahead its competition and growing even larger as a search engine. But Google’s latest improvement has car shoppers and gearheads taking note of the new features.

Google’s Knowledge Graph — the information box on the right-hand side of a search results page — now includes info on cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Pricing, EPA estimated fuel economy, trim levels, and even a vehicle’s direct competition will appear in the search.

“You may already use Google to help you make everyday decisions, like what restaurant to pick for dinner or which movie to go see. Starting today, you can also rely on Google’s Knowledge Graph to research a big decision: cars,” Google wrote in a blog post.

While finding a vehicle’s specs and pricing in a condensed format is definitely helpful for car buyers, seeing its direct competition seems even more important for buyers looking to purchase the vehicle best suited for their specific needs. Buying a car is a huge decision – especially considering it’s the average person’s second-largest purchase following their house – and Google is aiming to help consumers be better informed before walking into a dealership.

We love the idea of quick-n-dirty information being a few mouse-clicks away, however we wince at the thought of not doing further research on a more dedicated website such as you’re truly. Shameless self-plugs aside, having such information readily accessible is appealing and we look forward to having production dates, engine options, and trim levels at a fingertip’s reach.

Click past the jump for videos on Google’s Knowledge Graph


Back to top