Google and Audi tipped to announce partnership at CES 2014

Google and Audi are on the verge of announcing an infotainment partnership that will see Google’s Android OS power a new in-car entertainment system.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new tie up will be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show [CES] in Las Vegas, which takes place next week, and follows similar moves made by Apple to attempt to conquer the in-car entertainment market.

The partnership will allow car owners to integrate music and navigation apps currently available on Android smartphones and tablets into the vehicle’s built-in hardware, according to sources quoted by the WSJ.

Certain Audi models already feature 3G connectivity and its ambitious plans include integrating 4G LTE into the 2015 version of the Audi A3 with Forbes reporting that it is looking at creating shared data plans between smartphones and vehicles.

Google’s decision to enter the connected vehicle sector follows Apple’s release of iOS in the Car at its Worldwide Developers Conference [WWDC] in June and the signing of partnerships with several reputable automobile manufacturers.

So far it has signed contracts with the likes of BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Kia, Infiniti, and Hyundai as well as Audi that will mean more and more iOS features integrated into vehicles.

Apple’s offering differs slightly to Google’s in that users pair an iPhone with the car’s onboard receiver and the apps on the device will allow eyes-free Siri, satellite navigation using Apple Maps, music control, iMessage and telephone functions.

When it comes to Apple’s launch date for iOS integration, VP Eddy Cue told the WWDC that it could be inside vehicles as early as 2014 and the 2015 of vehicles are already being pegged by observers as being most likely to include the technology.

A date for the Google and Audi partnership to bear fruit is so far unclear and more is likely to be revealed once the announcement has been made at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.

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