Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report

Google reportedly wants to drive a forthcoming release of its Android operating system right into the heart of the connected car market.

Reuters quotes sources saying that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is building a version of its mobile operating system (OS) that could be deployed directly in cars without the need for the driver to plug in their smartphone.

The update is expected to arrive in the Android M release, which is due in around 12 months' time.

For all the insight into where service providers fit in the IoT, register to attend Light Reading's Carrier IoT: Making Money From Machines event in Atlanta on February 10, 2015.

Why this matters
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google are vying to be the operating system providers for cars that are getting connected to 4G networks. Apple presently has its CarPlay system, and Google is expecting to see its Android Auto system in cars next year. These early offerings, however, are systems that work in tandem with a smartphone for in-car apps.

The next phase for both is to build the OS platform directly into the car. This will involve changing the user interface and OS for direct in-car use.

It appears clear that Apple and Google are both working on that aim. (See Apple Global SIM Could Drive Connected Cars.)

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Susan Fourtané 1/9/2015 | 3:28:53 AM
Re: Distracted Driving App (Brief Thoughts...) MikeP, 

Yes, CES. I love it that Dan posted some pictures from CES; it's like teleporting yourself a little to be right there, right in the middle of the action for a little while --without the long walks and lines--. :D 

I would have liked to be close to that orange Maserati and know everything about it. :) 

MikeP688 1/9/2015 | 1:36:54 AM
Re: Distracted Driving App (Brief Thoughts...) Glad to see this..and yes it is exciting..as I have also been feversihly following what all have been up to @ CES.    Exciting times indeed :-) 
Susan Fourtané 1/8/2015 | 3:05:36 AM
Re: Distracted Driving App (Brief Thoughts...) MikeP, 

That's the thing, it's not an idea anymore. It's a reality. Totally autonomous cars are rolling in the streets of Sweden in normal driving conditions as we speak. (See here) They are testing them, and by 2020 100 of them will be on the streets. 

MikeP688 1/4/2015 | 1:36:45 PM
Re: Perfect Solution? (:-) ) It is commendable how the manufacturers have been striving towards it.     It will be even better (as implicity noted in your comments) as we ultimately strive to have "driving time" be more productive time ever more--and I have a sneaking suspsicion we will be there sooner than later :-)

MikeP688 1/4/2015 | 1:34:17 PM
Re: Distracted Driving App (Brief Thoughts...) It is a beautiful vision to aspire to.   The idea of the driverless cars is ultimately the objective you've envisioned.     Elements of it are already happening thru some of the "smart features" we see featured on some of leading lights out there.    What will be even more enlightening is if we work to eliminate driving as much as we can--although that in and of itself has its' own sense of challenges.   

Ariella 1/4/2015 | 10:09:20 AM
Re: Perfect Solution? @Susan from the LA times article on it:

The studies measured cognitive distraction — the mental workload required of a task — as opposed to the visual distraction, caused by drivers taking their eyes off the road, or physical distraction, such as reaching for a cellphone or brushing hair. The researchers used special test vehicles, heart-rate monitors and other equipment to measure how much mental distraction the systems generated. The systems were rated on a five-point scale, with five representing the most distracting.

Chevrolet's MyLink system, which the researchers tested in a 2013 Chevy Cruz Eco, scored the worst of the six systems from auto manufacturers.

It generated a distraction rating of 3.7 on the study's scoring protocol — compared with 2.45 for a hand-held cellphone. Three of the other systems rated as more distracting than a hand-held phone: Chrysler's UConnect System, 2.7; Ford's Sync with MyFord Touch system, 3.0; and Mercedes' Command system, 3.1.

Only Toyota's Entune, at 1.7, and Hyundai BlueLink, 2.2, scored better.

But the report doesn't recommend using a hand-held cellphone, either.....

The voice-based systems distracted drivers because they are too complex and made too many errors in recognizing voice commands, according to the research.

"Drivers were cursing the systems out," Strayer says. "If you want to buy one of these cars, make sure you can actually use the voice-based technology before you leave the lot." ....

Siri was notable for producing "different responses to seemingly identical commands," the researchers wrote.

In some instances, the Apple system required exact phrases to accomplish a specific task. It wouldn't understand subtle deviations from that phrasing. It also required drivers to start over when it made a dictation error in a message, because it offered no way to edit.

"Siri also made mistakes such as calling someone other than the desired person from the phone contact list," the study said. "Some participants also reported frustration with Siri's sarcasm and wit."

Apple said the study did not test CarPlay or Siri Eyes Free, which the company has designed for drivers to access features and apps they want in the car with minimized distraction. However, CarPlay is a new system that is just rolling out in some 2015 model year cars. 


pzernik 1/4/2015 | 7:51:02 AM
Re: Distracted Driving App Thanks Susan.  I know what car to buy my kids now.
Susan Fourtané 1/4/2015 | 2:43:07 AM
Re: Distracted Driving App pzernik, 

You can find traffic monitoring and driving assistance in Volvo's connected and autonomous cars. 

Susan Fourtané 1/4/2015 | 2:18:57 AM
Re: Perfect Solution? Ariella, 

Of course it's true. More than once I have wished for such ability. It's like the ultimate desire pro-happiness. :D  Passenger behaviour is just one of the many annoying examples where people should learn how to behave in public before embarking in sharing a public space. 

Now, think of the poor bus driver who has to pay attention to whatever disturbance is going on with the passengers on top of paying attention to the traffic. Assisted driving in connected buses is what will help to avoid distractions and road accidents. 

"I suppose the ones coming with the Siri report assume that the technology can become distracting even for people who are alone."

Did listening to the radio --news or music-- distracted drivers decades ago before Siri? Can those who wrote the report really base research on assumptions? Where is the scientific evidence? Did they conduct some empirical testing?

The ones who came with the Siri report sound to me like those "scientists" misusing research funding. 

Susan Fourtané 1/3/2015 | 8:11:44 PM
Re: Had had (Brief Thoughts) Thank you, Sir. :) I wish you a good year with some breaks in your vigilance; because we all need breaks of all types. :D (Although, just taking the opportunity, some naughty hackers were playing with the bank's security system around here on Dec 25th) 

Ahh, common sense; a precious quality often hard to find.

Thanks for the link. I may put it into good use. :) "Honeywell's smart devices [...] have not experienced any reported security breaches since hitting the market." 

Yet. Because, here is the thing: No one should just sit and wait to be hacked; they must go and start developing new and better security systems non-stop in order to be always one step ahead, which is what many, or most don't do. Hackers never sleep.


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