We’ve already detailed the differences between Android Auto and Android Automotive here, but one thing that’s worth keeping in mind is the latter offers a native experience without the need for a smartphone to power the entire experience behind the wheel.
Google has been offering Android Auto for quite some time, but now the company is working around the clock on Android Automotive, a fully-featured operating system coming pre-loaded on head units as part of partnerships between the search firm and carmakers.
Android Automotive on the 2022 Hummer EV
Announced back in 2017, Android Automotive is therefore the platform that powers everything related to infotainment in the cars where it’s installed, though as compared to Android Auto, it also offers more advanced functionality such as integration with vehicle functions.
What this means for drivers is that Android Automotive could end up looking different from one brand to another, but under the hood, it’s still the same operating system with the same feature lineup.
The Android Automotive adoption
What carmakers seem to love about Android Automotive is the support for custom skins, so in theory, the operating system can be personalized by each company with a different user interface, despite the functionality remaining pretty much the same.
Since it’s a rather new product, Android Automotive is yet to become a widely adopted operating system, though Google is working hard with carmakers out there to make sure more of them eventually embrace it.
This strategy obviously advances at a slow pace, especially because an operating system like Android Automotive needs the right hardware to run properly, so unlike Android Auto, where a head unit upgrade is the only thing that’s required, more improvements under the hood must be made this time.
In addition to the cars already using Android Automotive (and listed below), there are several other carmakers that have already confirmed they would use the operating system in their cars.