Google has shown off Android Automotive a few times in the last couple of years, but you haven't been able to buy any cars with Google's fully integrated version of Android. That will change soon, but things will kick into high-gear in 2021 thanks to a partnership with GM. This might not be the first time we get to see Android Automotive in a real vehicle, but it could be what pushes it into the mainstream.

Android Automotive of often confused with Android Auto, but they're very different products. "Automotive" refers to an infotainment system that runs Android natively. Android Auto runs on your phone, mirrored to a vehicle display. You can already use Android Auto in GM vehicles, but the automaker says it will begin using Android Automotive in 2021. It won't be in all GM vehicles right away, and none of the company's Chinese models will get it. If you prefer to have a phone plugged in, you'll be able to use Android Auto and CarPlay on top of Automotive.

The Polestar 2 is on-track to be the first car with Android Automotive, but this spendy electric car won't have the same impact on the market as GM. Likewise, Google has an agreement with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, but there are few details on that. GM was an early supporter of Android Automotive—several of the concept vehicles with Automotive have come from GM. 2021 could be the year regular people actually have the option of buying a car that runs a full version of Android.

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  • GM