Android Automotive vs Android Auto 2023 Edition

Android Automotive vs Android Auto 2023 Edition

7th Sep 2023

Navigating the Future of Smart Driving: Android Automotive vs Android Auto 2023 Edition

As of 2023, the buzz around Android Auto, operational in 44 countries and integrated by nearly 50 car manufacturers globally, is simply too loud to ignore. But Google, always seeking to push the envelope, has set its sights even higher with Android Automotive. The stakes are clear: Today's drivers expect more than just a basic infotainment system. They want seamless integration of navigation, music, and messaging—all manageable with a simple "Hey Google." But what sets  Android Automotive and Android Auto apart? Let's delve into the nitty-gritty.

Android Auto: The Revolution That Changed Car Infotainment

Launched just over half a decade ago, Android Auto quickly turned into a fan favorite, enabling drivers to manage apps via touch or voice controls on their car's head unit. Acting as an extended interface of your smartphone, Android Auto operates by connecting to your device through a USB or Bluetooth link.

Android Automotive: A New Paradigm in Vehicle Tech

Initiated in 2017 by Google and Intel, with participation from European automotive giants Volvo and Audi, Android Automotive is not just another infotainment system. It's an entire operating system built directly into your car's head unit. This is Android Automotive Operating System (AAOS) in a nutshell. While Android Auto mirrors smartphone functionalities, AAOS goes the extra mile by integrating deeply with your vehicle's core systems.

Android Automotive: Beyond Mirroring

Android Automotive allows direct access to popular Android apps like Spotify, Waze and WhatsApp from the Play Store; plus you can control car functions such as air conditioning by way of its integrated controls - turning your head unit into a full-fledged computer.

Moreover, Android Automotive's high customizability, thanks to its open-source nature, means you should expect continuous innovation and frequent updates.

The Ultimate Showdown: Android Automotive vs Android Auto

Features & Capabilities

Features & Capabilities Android Automotive Android Auto Notes & Explanations
General Features
Access to Car Functions Yes No Android Automotive is integrated into the car's system and can control climate, cameras, etc. Android Auto cannot.
Display on Head Unit Yes Yes Both can display information on the car's built-in screen.
Access to Apps Yes Yes Both can run a variety of apps but may differ in the range and types of apps supported.
Compatibility with Google Assistant Yes Yes Voice commands work for both systems.
Requires Mobile Phone Connection No Yes Android Automotive doesn't require a phone; Android Auto does.
Installation Necessary No (Pre-installed) Yes (App-based) Android Automotive comes pre-installed in vehicles, while Android Auto needs to be installed as an app on your phone.
Supports 5G Connectivity Yes No Android Automotive may support 5G depending on the vehicle. Android Auto's connectivity is dependent on the phone.
Performance & Usability
Real-time Navigation Yes Yes Both systems support real-time navigation but may rely on different data sources.
Multi-user Profiles Yes Limited Android Automotive supports multiple user profiles; Android Auto is generally tied to the connected phone.
Offline Functionality Limited Limited Both offer some offline capabilities but are more feature-rich with an internet connection.
Customizable Interface Yes No Android Automotive allows more personalization options compared to Android Auto.
Audio & Entertainment
Supports In-car Audio System Yes Yes Both can integrate with the car's existing audio system.
Podcast & Audiobook Support Yes Yes Both can play podcasts and audiobooks.
Video Playback Limited No Android Automotive may allow limited video playback when the vehicle is stationary. Android Auto does not support this.
Compatibility & Support
Software Updates OTA (Over-The-Air) App Updates via Phone Android Automotive gets updates over the air. Android Auto updates come through your phone's app store.
Vehicle Compatibility Specific Models Most Cars with Compatible Head Units Android Automotive is available only in certain vehicle models. Android Auto is more broadly compatible.

Cutting-Edge Cars with Android Automotive (2023 Edition)

Below are a selection of recent car models with Android Automotive already installed:

  • Volvo: V90 (2023), XC40 P8 (2023), XC60 (2023), S90 (2023)
  • Polestar 2 (2023), Polestar 3 (2023)
  • GMC: Hummer EV (2023), Sierra (2023)
  • Chevrolet: Silverado (2023), Bolt EUV (2023)
  • Cadillac: Lyriq (2023), Celestiq (2023)
  • Renault: MĂ©gane E-Tech Electric (2023), Zoe (2023)

Peering Into the Future: The Evolution of Automotive Technology?

It's no exaggeration to say head units have become the control centers of modern vehicles. Android Automotive further transforms the in-car experience, rendering it akin to an airplane cockpit. What's next in line? As self-driving capabilities become more sophisticated, could the next frontier be automated flying cars or even drone-operated vehicles? The future is indeed a thrilling vista of endless possibilities.

Conclusion: Choosing Your Path in Smart Driving

While we wait for the mass-market infiltration of Android Automotive, Android Auto serves as a robust and reliable bridge toward the future of smart driving. For those looking to upgrade now, Extnix offers state-of-the-art, affordable aftermarket head units that support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Being Android-based, these units also give you a preview of what Android Automotive aims to accomplish.

So, are you ready to level up your driving experience with the smartest in-car technology yet? Make your choice, and take the first step into the future of intelligent transportation today.

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