In 2017, Google launched a complete operating system designed specifically for cars – Android Automotive OS (AAOS). The system is essentially an extension of the Android system but has been specially optimized and improved for the vehicle environment. Unlike Android Auto, which requires the driver to connect their smartphone to the vehicle’s infotainment system to access various Android features such as navigation, AAOS comes pre-installed in the vehicle.
This means AAOS can provide deep integration with the vehicle itself, giving drivers direct access to climate controls and more. As we mentioned before, automakers are also free to customize the AAOS interface to provide a unique experience. After using AAOS in some models of Volvo and Audi, BMW is now joining Google’s list of partner car companies. While some details are still pending, the automaker has announced major changes are planned for early 2023.
BMW announced plans to integrate Android Automotive OS as a “second technology approach” on June 28. According to the automaker, some of its model lines will integrate AAOS from March 2023, meaning it won’t replace BMW’s existing Linux-based operating system.
Instead, Stephan Durach, senior vice president of BMW Connected and Development Technology Operations, explained in a press release that the automaker intends to incorporate “the best aspects of the world — which could be our own in-house developed, open-source or commercial software offerings. , depending on what the specific solution looks like”.
While the automaker didn’t specify which model lineup will get this integration first, it did say that with the addition of AAOS, the infotainment systems in its vehicles can be “individually configurable.” Notably, this is an expansion of the BMW OS 8 platform, and the automaker assures its customers that after the expansion, they will still receive the expected OTA software updates “regularly”.
BMW didn’t elaborate on why it decided to integrate AAOS, but it did mention that this expanded platform will be available across a variety of model ranges, which, among other things, will mean additional “features and options” for future drivers — none of which are currently available disclose. Regardless, the announcement isn’t surprising.
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