Android apps hit the road
The Android operating system, on the other hand, was designed from the start to support mobile devices and has proved that it can serve more than mobile phones. Using the Android OS for embedded in-vehicle entertainment provides all the entertainment features offered by a top-of-the-range, in-dash infotainment system with the addition of informative, driver-assisting content including hands-free calling, multimedia center, and a navigation system/Google maps. For an embedded open source expandable system (whereby the framework can be extended and applications can be developed for it), the Android OS can be enhanced to support multiple audio and video feeds. For example, IVI audio requirements include music, phone calls, sensor warnings, and navigation announcements, which must be managed and prioritized. Managing multiple displays, with an information-focus for the driver and entertainment-focus for passengers, is also a requirement. The UI for the driver should be arranged to minimize distraction, while passengers will want as much content as possible from their UIs. But many automotive OEMs and developers ask, “Why not just use the Android smartphone and tie it into a vehicle’s dash?” Not only would this be more cost effective for the developer, but the user would have instant familiarity with the system.
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