General Motors (GM) plans to add Google apps capability to its cars in 2021, according to a report.
Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac vehicles will have in-car voice, navigation and other Google-enabled capabilities.
In 2017, GM started shipping vehicles with Android Automotive OS, starting with integration in the Cadillac CTS and then expanding to other cars. It is based on the operating system that runs on phones and tablets, but was modified to work with cars. The services will be embedded into the car’s operating system, so drivers can access the same features they use on their phones from their vehicles.
Santiago Chamorro, GM’s vice president for global connected customer experience, said the car company decided on the move after doing some customer research.
The compatibility will start in 2021, and the apps will be available in the Google Play store. There will be more integration throughout all GM brands after the initial deployment.
Drivers will eventually be able to do things like make calls, change radio stations, adjust the in-car temperature or even close the garage door if they have a connected smart home. The Google Assistant integration is expected to continuously evolve, so drivers could potentially be able to engage with their vehicles using voice.
The Google Maps integration will offer traffic assistance, automatic rerouting and other guidance. With Google Assistant and Maps, drivers will be able to verbally search for destinations like gas stations or EV charging stations.
GM said it isn’t swapping out its own digital apps in the infotainment system; it will keep things like vehicle health status, in-car commerce and service recommendations. The Google apps are intended to work in tandem with the existing system.