Google plans to introduce its own in-car solution that will rival Apple's CarPlay at the company's I/O conference next week, according to a new report. AutoNews claims that rather than a dedicated operating system integrated with car "infotainment" software, Google has developed a solution that "projects" data from Android smartphones onto a car's dashboard screen. Much like CarPlay, motorists will be able to directly control Google's experience — currently known as "Auto Link" within the company — using their car's own dials, buttons, and other controls. The report says that Google will unveil and demonstrate the new in-car offering at I/O, but will shy away from announcing specific cars that will support it.
It's said to be the first major project to emerge from the Open Automotive Alliance, a group that was established in January but which has stayed relatively quiet ever since. The Alliance consists of Google, Nvidia, and automakers including GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai. It's promised to put Android in automobiles "in a way that is purpose built for cars," and in January said the first such integration would arrive this year. For its part, Apple has already lined up a number of CarPlay partners and has a clear rollout roadmap. But the long road in bringing CarPlay to market also reinforces the challenge of replacing (or at least offering an alternative to) the clunky in-car entertainment systems found in many vehicles. But with Google preparing its own competitor, the battle for your dashboard may soon enter new territory.