25
Jun
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Audi has long been a car brand associated with advanced technology in the luxury segment, often taking risks well before their primary competitors BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus, are willing to step up to the plate. Audi will also be the first of those brands to offer vehicles with Android Auto integration, according to a press release issued by the VW-owned mark today.

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Audi states that beginning in 2015, all-new vehicle models with Audi MMI infotainment (I always gag on that word) systems will be Android Auto-ready. Now, the wording there is carefully crafted: all-new vehicle models. As in, not all new models, but models that are all-new. This probably means that the recently re-introduced A3 sedan and other models not up for major refreshes next year won't be getting it. Even Audi's new TT, unveiled back in March, may not be a candidate, as automotive technology tends to have very long development pipelines compared to normal consumer electronics. Though, given the TT's focus on high-tech interior refinements, I suppose it's still possible.

The rumored upcoming all-new A5, a 2016 model, would seem a more probably vehicle to mark the launch of Audi's Android Auto-equipped lineup, then. The A5 is one of Audi's most popular cars in recent years, and it currently leads the small luxury coupe segment along with BMW's 4-series.

If you're wondering which of the German marks to go with for a shot at Android Auto integration, by the way, the VW group is your only option at this point: neither Mercedes nor BMW (or by relation, Mini) have signed on to the Open Auto Alliance, instead opting for Apple's CarPlay, it would seem.

MarketWired

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • lololo

    :D

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    Aside: those of you holding out for aftermarket Android Auto solutions, I'd check online right now to see if your car's stereo can even be replaced. A lot of modern infotainment systems can't even be removed without a lot of backyard dremel action and a whole bunch of electrical tape and general hackery to get a new system working.

    • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

      That's why I am not that excited about this whole smart-car infotainment system idea. No one is buying a new car just to have it play nice with his/her phone.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Good point. I'm luckily in a 2007 CR-V which uses a standard double-DIN opening. Replaced mine with a Bluetooth unit a while ago that I liked. Tempting to see what happens here and consider another switch, although I'm also looking into new cars. Hyundai was high on my list, so the fact that they're on board makes me smile.

    • enoch861

      Or in Audi, BMW, or even Mercedes's case, you can't replace them at all. You have to get a whole new car.

    • Mike Reid

      >electrical tape and general hackery

      Sounds like our custom ROM and mods club... :)

    • Daniel Orchard

      Ive got the pioneer appradio3 with mirrorcast/android output at the moment for a vanilla android experience in my dash (yeah ok my car is 2009 but it was still a little dremel action to make it fit.) Steering controls etc work and it plays ALL apps because its just a mirror of my screen. HDMI (slimport) out and serial over bt back for the touchscreen input drivers.

      Even so, I would upgrade this to Android Auto in a heartbeat - I hope your listening Pioneer. If you cant wait, it does work - but this looks miles better. The only thing I dont like is that it looks like the apps have to be vetted by google (for proper driving interface) I hope this doesnt exclude side loading apps etc.

    • gmaninvan

      Dremeling and a deck kit isn't exactly difficult. I just did it in my truck to get in a double DIN deck. Came out awesome. Way better than factory

  • Brad

    Too bad it's not in economy cars haha

    • Kidney_Thief

      Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Suzuki, etc., are listed as partners, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

      • Brad

        eh, tbh I'm not running right out to get a new car anyway haha

      • Taco Monster

        Yeah, that pretty much covers the economy to mid-tier market. Certainly covers all the makes I'm likely to buy in the future.

  • dddde

    If anyone can fubar android it will be the auto makers. Entirely hostile to openness, connectivity, and upgrades

  • Dakota

    So now if you switch phone OS you have to get a new car too

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      That was partially the case for a while anyway. A lot of cars were throwing in heavy iPod/iPhone support and ignoring everything else.

      I'm betting these will actually be built to handle both.

    • abqnm

      Unless it was some contract term explicitly preventing other partnerships (Ford & MS?), I imagine before long we will have auto manufacturers releasing their entertainment systems with dual-support, in some form or another. Whether this be by adding iOS support to Android Auto, even if somewhat limited, or coming up with an interface that allows them to coexist. There is a lot that can happen here.

      • jamaall

        Ford and Microsoft... Sigh

    • Bruno

      Who cares ? Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Audi, And all others on the "Open Automotive Alliance" website are the most sold WorldWide.
      Who's gonna be rich? Google, If you got a Google Car then you need a Google Phone to pair with ! That's the deal man. And that's for the best of everyone, Apple Sucks, their shitty grey designs, their shitty OSs, and their stupid ideas, stupid price... etc... etc.. Won't go far in the futur. They must change their mind. When they will realise that people doesn't want to pay 1k$ for a shitty phone they'll change their mind.

    • Gary Graf

      I buy aftermarket audio products anyways. So it's not an issue for me

      • gmaninvan

        Alpine, Parrot and Pioneer are on board too. That is what I am stoked for. I will put android Auto in my truck via aftermarket

  • crapplesucks

    Dang i was gonna get a BMW 435, I guess ill take a look at the VW A5. :(

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    The other interesting careful wording:

    "IN 2015, all-new models..." That likely means 2016 models.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Carmakers are getting weird about that. A lot of 2015 models will debut in 2015, too. But some 2016s will as well. Usually, a major platform change will be introed as the next model-year, whereas smaller refreshes are more likely to be called by the calendar year. I think it also has to do with the company's fiscal calendar. Either way, NEXT YEAR we will start seeing the cars.

  • Steve McClanahan

    Looks like it was working just fine in the already out Kia Soul

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      The Soul literally runs Android, it's not Android Auto-ready.

      • Steve McClanahan

        In the link below they discuss with Kia that the system is built to be upgraded with new apps and features. And besides it looks like all Android Auto does is project and custom remote desktop onto the screen so it doesn't look like it takes anything but the android OS.
        http://cars.reviewed.com/content/2014-kia-soul-has-android-at-its-heart

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          OK, that's still not anything like Android Auto. At all.

  • Amarus Kh

    That's nice and all, but what I really want to know is if there's going to be a developer version sold on the Play Store or not.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      ... you mean a developer stereo? Uh, I doubt it.

      • Amarus Kh

        I was aiming for a developer Audi :p

        • Mike Reid

          They're working on those self-driving cars...

  • JJ

    All I want is a system that syncs with my phone and displays the phone's info and let's me control it and it's apps with the steer wheel/MMI controls. Everything else (HDD music storage, radio, navigation, etc) is superfluous as it gets outdated quickly, and they want to charge you to update it the few times they actually get around to doing an update of their wonky software.

    Is this Android Auto going to be updated by Google or Audi? If Audi, then don't expect it to be updated often or for free.

    Source: Recent Audi purchaser who is not impressed with the MMI.

    • pfmiller

      You're missing the point, the cars are just implementing an interface to your phone. There will be nothing on the car to update.

  • Bruno

    Android Car got to be in Tesla when i'm gonna buy one ! In a few many years !

  • Bruno

    The only thing I wish is a Google Play edition of all of this.
    Do you realize that...
    If we have a 'Last Year Phone' with a 'Last Year Car System' paired with a 'Last Year Watch' 'Last Year Glass' Nothing will work together. Nothing will be upgraded neither... If we have to wait until the OS of our car gets updated to a new version so our new phone can work with... Where are we going?

    • tomokatsu

      I think that is the whole point/beauty of Androidauto. From my understanding, all of the processing happens on the phone; the car is just a dumb terminal (essentially accepting touch input and displaying a screen.)

      That way, you get the latest software as soon as your phone gets upgraded.

  • MistiXF

    Cool. Just don't forget to put an option to turn it all off. A lot of people will use it...that option.

    • Naworb McGee

      What?

  • DoYouEvenNexusBro?

    Yes. Custom ROM.

  • Daaamn.

    Not even the Q3.

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