Leverage in the connected car market is not at all obvious, and a new move by Google shows why. Any “in vehicle infotainment” system requires an operating system or platform that allows in-car systems to communicate with mobile networks.
|source: Business Insider|
As you might guess, there are many rivals in that area. Google and Apple, BlackBerry, Linux, GENIVI and Tizen are among the proposed OS approaches. Auto OEMs can build their own or source a platform.
Google already offers Android Auto. But it also offers Android N IVI, which allows the Android smartphone itself to supply the mobile network link and intelligent car functions.
Android N adds support for AM/FM radio, HVAC controls, Bluetooth links between the OS and the car’s dialing system, similar controls for media streaming, and the option for digital dashboard instrumentation clusters.
Of course, and Android N IVI system will work closely with Android Auto, but that same functionality could presumably be achieved by simply syncing the driver’s Google accounts between the phone and the car, to share contacts, bookmarks and media.
To the extent that Android N IVI enables tethering, the size of the tethered and smartphone-based market segments will matter.