Next-generation Honda vehicles will integrate Google’s in-vehicle connected service, with the first all-new model to be launch in North America from the second half of 2022. The expansion to other markets will be done in stages.
The collaboration however is an enhancement of the existing Android Auto connectivity, which already includes navigation and voice assistant. The number of in-vehicle apps is set to expand with the collaboration, as marketers view the smartphone as the window to consumer behaviour and purchase patterns.
With the increase in preference and better packaging of a large, central touchscreen infotainment system, Honda is however designing their dashboard to only house a modest free-standing 9-inch screen.
Under the design concept of “Simplicity and something”, Honda aims to make the dashboard with simple lines to maximise the driver’s view outwards as well as convenient operation via well-placed switches. The menu structure of the software will also be simplified.
After the launch of the 11th generation Honda Civic and all-new Honda HR-V, we can only expect the latest Honda and Google in-car services to feature in the Honda CR-V that is due for replacement in North America within the next 12 months.
Ford has also embarked on a partnership with Google for the in-car connected services, but the scope of collaboration is much deeper, as it also involves significant data transmission to the Google Cloud, Machine Learning as well as data analytics in both vehicles and Ford’s daily operations.
The next-generation Ford vehicles will also have access to over-the-air updates to receive the latest updates, enable new features as well as apps to better serve the customers.
In Malaysia, Android Auto is listed as unofficially available by distributors as the connectivity is only built into smartphones with operating system (OS) Android 10 and 11. OS Android 9 and earlier cannot download the app in Play Store as Google has not rolled out yet in Malaysia (however available in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore), thus unable to officially use Android Auto.