What is Android Automotive?

Android Automotive is a base Android platform that runs pre-installed IVI system Android Applications as well as (optional) second- and third-party Android Applications.

Android Automotive offers openness, customization, and scale to automotive infotainment systems and head units. Openness enables new efficiencies by providing basic automotive infotainment features in a free and open source codebase. Customization enables implementers to differentiate the product as they see fit. Scale is achieved through Android’s common framework, language, and APIs, all of which enables reuse of development expertise and completed software from hundreds of thousands of Android developers worldwide.

Android Automotive & Android

It’s important to understand how Android Automotive relates to the overall Android ecosystem:

  • Android Automotive is Android. Android Automotive is not a fork or parallel development of Android. It is the same codebase and lives in the same repository as the Android shipped on phones, tablets, etc. It builds on a robust platform and feature set developed over 10+ years, enabling it to leverage the existing security model, compatibility program, developer tools, and infrastructure while continuing to be highly customizable and portable, completely free, and open source.

  • Android Automotive extends Android. In the course of building Android into a full-featured platform for infotainment, we’re adding support for automotive-specific requirements, features, and technologies. Android Automotive will be a full-stack, turnkey automotive infotainment platform, just as Android is for mobile today.

Carriers, OEMs, and developers have been using Android to build beautiful devices, applications, and experiences for over a decade. Android Automotive now brings the power of Android to the car, where car makers can create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.

Android Automotive & Android Auto

The nomenclature can be confusing. Here’s how they differ:

  • Android Auto is a platform running on the user’s phone, projecting the Android Auto user experience to a compatible in-vehicle infotainment system over a USB connection. Android Auto supports apps designed for in-vehicle use. For details, refer to developer.android.com/auto.

  • Android Automotive is an operating system and platform running directly on the in-vehicle hardware. It is a full-stack, open source, highly customizable platform powering the infotainment experience. Android Automotive supports apps built for Android as well as those built for Android Auto.

Google Automotive Services (GAS)

Google Automotive Services (GAS) is a collection of applications and services that automotive OEMs can choose to license and integrate into their in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. For details and access to latest version of GAS applications, reach out to your Google point of contact.